Badlands by Michael N. Thompson

The husks of foreclosed dreams
burn like Louisiana cane fields
in the malaise where fist meets face

Former gods of war,
tied to their terror
like dogs on a chain,
drink whiskey and rye
up on the levee,
but this isn’t a Don McLean song

Cowgirls wait for love
at the end of the bar
like it’s a welfare check

Their blind faith
provides the same comfort
that a steering wheel
gave Dean Moriarty

This drawn-out scene
feels like an old George Jones song

All that’s missing
are the steel guitars

Some call it the badlands
and others hard country

Neither one is wrong

Michael N. Thompson
Michael N. Thompson likes bacon, fantasy football and Doctor Who. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals including Word Riot, Toronto Quarterly and San Pedro River Review. He is the author of four poetry collections. His fifth, Days Of Swine And Roses, will be released through University Of Hell Press in late 2017. Michael is currently at work on a crime fiction novel.

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