This Last Great Country Song

I took the interstate in a ’53 V-8
I followed her from Haight
Ashbury to Ashbury Park
And my spirit soared
With that coast-to-coast billboard
Now I get my kicks
When mail-order mavericks
Fill the billboard charts

But my heart still aches
When I think of the kiss
Into which we rushed headlong
I don’t know if I can take
Much more of this
This last great country song

I danced a jig at The Blind Pig
I took another swig
From a fifth of Maker’s Mark
I walked the buzzard-buzzy sky
Where the deer were getting high
Now I’m on the floor
At the convenience store
Loading soda into a cart

But my heart still quakes
When I reminisce
On drinking all night long
I don’t know if I can take
Much more of this
This last great country song

With its failed crops its foreclosed loans
Its store-bought whiskey its wit home-grown
Its waitresses who’ve left no traces
Of their pantie-lines their X-tans
Their monster-trucking exes their dash-mounted fans
Their fanned-out cartridge cases

Through which I ran for my life from a guy with a knife
I’d been led by his wife
To their trailer park
Where the strung-out utility poles
Still found no use for our lost souls
Now I’ll be running for mayor
I’ll be leading a prayer
Breakfast next to Wal-Mart

But my heart still breaks
To think I’ll no longer be remiss
To think I’ll no longer do wrong
I don’t know if I can take
Much more of this
This last great country song

“This Last Great Country Song” by Paul Muldoon, from Songs and Sonnets. © Enitharmon Press, 2013.