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.