Submitted Date 06/04/2019

it was a small town a few miles off the highway

podunk, hillbilly, backward-ass

small words for a small town

the people had a distinctive southern drawl

they had long unruly hair

smashed noses

they wore white sleeveless t-shirts

and overly worn tennis shoes

some were no different than feral animals

but the small town was also home to

goths, jocks, preps, nerds, fuckups etc.,

just as any other town

there was money and there was not

we cruised the strip on weekend nights

the farmers hung out in the Purina lot

the cool kids hung out at the basketball games-

and my God, that's all they had!

the rest of us just drove around until we got bored

we went home and stood on the corner talking

throwing kung fu kicks

snapping pictures

lighting bottle rockets

and sucking down bottles of Mountain Dew

there were fights in the school bathrooms

valedictorian speeches

the unexpected death of a classmate

school plays

we were grounded when we had done wrong

had our picture in the paper when we had done good

we set off smoke bombs

got chased by tow trucks

pooled our money together for a pizza

in the neighboring small towns

-Milton, Alquina, Cambridge City and Rushville

Thisville and Thatville

Rushville was important enough to have a billboard

on the outskirts of town, faded, crumbling

in big letters: WELCOME TO RUSHVILLE

underneath someone had spray painted –SUCK US-

and then we went back to our own small town

and did our small town things

some stayed

some left and some died, were buried

in their small town graves

it is still there in some small way

but the buildings are empty or mostly at least

factories gone

the houses abandoned

not all but enough

just remnants of an old tree fort

blanketed in overgrown wooded vines

things change, yes

some for the better

some not

but as deathly as I speak of this small town

it isn't dead yet

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