Kudzu Curtains

25th Rainbow Family Gathering of the Tribes
July 1-7, 1996, Mark Twain Forest, Missouri


Out of the city’s
greasy armpit,

Across the smoldering
Southern summer
into my own west wind

Over the bridge at Memphis,
where I once caught that
midnight ride

Nothing but miles
out here
between the speed limit signs

Down the long dusty back roads
of Missouri, into
Sam Clemens’s own back woods

Into a pasture full
of peacefully grazing cars
and grinning people

Up an easy trail
into the shady welcome
of trees and running water

Kudzu curtains:
I haven’t come so far
from Georgia after all

At Popcorn Palace
the price of admission is
an empty bowl

At the swimming hole,
you don’t even need
that much

A barefoot brother joins
the morning jam: birds,

Far-off drummers:
maybe I never actually
left this place at all