HomeSouthern VoiceTwo Poems by D.C. Buschmann

Two Poems by D.C. Buschmann

Grandpa, 94, Drove His Farm Truck to Town, Wore a Suit

Driving into town for an appointment was an event
worthy of shoes shined until they glowed 

like a Kentucky Derby race horse
and Sunday suit and hat—evidence

of the veneration Grandpa still held
for his departed parents and upbringing.

And he bestowed considerable respect on
doctors, teachers, and especially lawyers. 

They had gone to schools he’d only heard of.
All the attorneys in town wanted to represent him. 

After Grandpa died, the fox who settled the estate remodeled
his own property, including pool addition and covered patio. 

Grandpa wouldn’t have begrudged it.
He was known to release greenbacks for any bill that came

to his mailbox and store the bulk in Wachovia’s coffers.
To his children, who had toiled alongside him, he paid

the reward of a promise: This will all be yours someday.
Some believe he endowed townsfolk with the honor

that should’ve been the other way around. Grandpa
was too humble to have ever considered that.

Childhood Feigned, Yadkinville, NC, 1958

“Mother isn’t home,” Mama obfuscated,
gliding on the porch swing, head down as she worked
popping beans
and holding court
in shorty shorts and halter top.

We wondered if the salesman would buy
that Mama,
was one of us.

“Is your mother usually home this time of day?” he asked.
“Can’t say,” she answered nonchalantly.
“She’s gone a lot.”

He clawed into his pocket
as we three sat on the floor mum as mice, 
watching his face to see how long
it would take him
to give up.

“Would you tell her I dropped by?”
he urged, extending his card.
“I will,” Mama lied.

I spotted the gleam in her eye, then the self-satisfied grin
mushrooming across her face,
as he legged it toward our neighbor’s house.

“That was easier than saying no,’” she boasted
in her low voice
before laughing out loud
once he was out of earshot.

The beans kept popping,
and we laughed with her
that June afternoon, cooled
by a summer’s zephyr,
on our screened-in side porch.


D.C. Buschmann grew up in a small town in North Carolina and still owns land there. She is a retired editor and reading specialist. Her poem, “Death Comes for a Friend,” was the Editor’s Choice in Poetry Quarterly, Winter 2018. She has been published in the US, the UK, Australia, Iraq and India, including Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library’s So it Goes Literary Journal, Flying Island, The Adirondack Review, San Pedro River Review, Better Than Starbucks, Rat’s Ass Review, Nerve Cowboy and elsewhere. She lives in Carmel, Indiana, with husband Nick and miniature schnauzers Cupcake and Coco. Her first full collection of poetry will be published in 2020. Read Buschmann’s previous work in Deep South here.

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