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Singing Jester

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At the back of some diner
out in Etoile Texas
Jimmy plays an out-of-tune Stella
(the kind Montgomery Ward once sold
for twenty bucks a pop).
After a swig of Busch Light
from a red plastic cup
he sings “Your Cheatin' Heart.”
There's usually a few folks around
when he holds court.
You'll hear the standard mutterings:
“he could've made it big
in Music City,
but he was just too
goddamn wild.”

As he bellows another off-key
somebody-done-me-wrong song,
the ladies in the kitchen cheer him on,
while Delton, who runs a skidder,
holds back a snicker
and bites into his burger.

In the morning Jimmy'll rise,
he'll try to scrape together
enough bread for another sixer,
then head into Nacogdoches
to paint a house.
But people always need
cheap entertainment.

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