Folk art and writings of Jo Neace Krause
Read this interview:
“A Man From Tennesse Breaks My Heart” by Jo Neace Krause. Appeared in Hickman County Times
A Man In Tennessee Breaks My Heart
He was part of the crowd of rural men
Who came to the country store to sit around
Outside, off the porch, the bare dirt was popsicle orange, the wind
lay in it, the wind and the sun and the dogs .
Sometimes tourists came through with cameras asking
if there were any red necks around
Wanting to take some pictures .
One of the kids who swam in the creek,
jumped up and rode a mule
All the way down the road screaming
Help Me, Ray Charles! Save me, Fox News!
While the sheet flapping horses raced after him laughing.
Later the men would get serious and talk about the river
How the giant turtles had disappeared years ago.
Nothing to feed on they said.
And how the big white belly cats living in deep river holes
would sling their heads sideways, you know like fish will do,
jerk a man’s arm right out of his shoulder.
Mentioning this one time over the table about divorce ,
remembering when it was still a disgrace to get one.
Not like now. Didn’t bother them what got thrown across the yard.
Only this one man running his hand along the edge of the table said
I honestly miss women, let me tell you.
His hand straightened the edge of the oil cloth
I would love to have a woman back in the house.
I don’t care what it costs. Just to hear her moving around, rattling things.
I miss the sounds of women. You’ve got to know them to miss them.
And little babies. What I wouldn’t give , you know……
Just to hold a little baby .