Sugar Baby

This entry is part 27 of 34 in the series Breakdown: The Banjo Poems


I had total recall. I was
loitering at a strip mall
on the outskirts of town,
replaying Dock Boggs’
“Sugar Baby” in my head
note for note as I heard it
the first time, before I knew
what was coming next—
the red rocking chair,
the every dime.
Streetlights flickered on,
& they were a new kind
of streetlight that turned people
transparent, like ghosts
as they hurried from car
to store & store to car.
Every third person
was talking to someone
in their hand, saying
I’m in the parking lot &
Do you want the plain rice
or the fried?
I noticed there were those
who said honey
& those who said sugar,
but white or brown, they all
had something sticky
to keep solitude at bay.
I began wishing
I’d heard the song
from the master himself
so I could taste it too,
raw & unrefined.
I wouldn’t have to take
rides in cop cars.
My feet would find
their way to some
sweet home.

Series Navigation← The Silent BanjoBanjo Origins (3): Jesusland →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.