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During the farm show parade.

   The acquitted drive their red truck slowly.
   They toss Tootsie Rolls and hard candy
   In cellophane for scrambling children
   Whose parents read the sign that says,
   "Our trial wasted $17,000"
   Beside a drawing of the D.A.
   Tumbling into a garbage can.

   The acquitted wave like the mayor
   And the Farm Show Princess
   Who follow the Civil War reenactors
   And their hoop-skirted wives,
   Their Ford F-150 as polished
   As the fire trucks and the horns
   Of the high school band, beaming
   Between the uniformed Cub Scouts
   And the Gym Starz in sparkling tights.

   The truth, they have testified, left
   The party early. The truth never beat
   Somebody senseless or laid him
   In that pickup truck to be dumped
   To die along a country road,
   But all afternoon blood won't shut up,
   Its voice so loud it casts a shadow.

   A father concentrates on the mouths
   Of the acquitted to read their words.
   His wife watches their gestures for tells.
   As if she's delivering a curse,
   A sister sucks their candy
   And holds up a picture of a grave
   Drawn with the furious ink of blame
   Just before the acquitted turn left
   And disappear like the immortal.

Gary Fincke's latest book is a collection of stories, A Room of Rain (West Virginia University, 2015). Earlier in 2015, Stephen F. Austin University published his essays collection Vanishings. He is the Charles Degenstein Professor of Creative Writing at Susquehanna University.

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Author:Fincke, Gary
Publication:River Styx
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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