DNB (09/06/66 / Raleigh, North Carolina)

Tobacco Road

Tobacco Road

The Friday paper, propped against the stoop,
was worth the lean into the gauzy soup
of dawn to snatch the rubber-banded roll
as if a just-discovered ancient scroll.
I scanned the front page, barely half-awake,
but perked at LEGISLATORS ON THE TAKE.

My God, those sons-of-bitches love to bilk
constituents, I muttered, pouring milk.
I checked the NASDAQ-all my stocks were up
and, toasting luck, I raised my plastic cup
to take a bull-sized swig, for profit's sake,
Of a physique-enhancing protein shake.

I skipped the local section, flipped to sports,
and checked the scores in last night's game reports
to learn results I had to know before
the morning preordained my mood du jour.
The news was good (at least for most of town) .
A headline spelled out, hugely: DUKE GOES DOWN!

The politicians? I forgave their greed
and, for the day, ignored financial need
because importance shifted-Duke got beat,
and loyal Tar Heels bask in such defeat
with sheer elation as our rivals fall
on the Tobacco Road of basketball.

by David Nelson Bradsher

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