Fairy Tale

The Appalachians were first-rate with cigs
I think because they itched to modernize
& were biologically agitated like most settlers
& pioneers & colonists mixed in with natives
such as, on the whole, the Cherokee. But then
time passed as time in the mountains always does
if you give it time enough & the Appalachians
woke up one day wanting over & above the smokes
a little more distance between the old Grannies
& them as in the old pinto beans & cornbread
& the old garden & the old barn & up-to-date,
landmark, cig-smoking them. There were
somber brothers plowing at home & horses
& pigs to supervise as in go get the pitch fork,
let’s make some hay. But we’re talking newfangled
Appalachians here as in free will Appalachians
as in Appalachians in the MoMA & Appalachians
in the Uffizi in Florence, Italy, where my father
was so happy once he got there it looked like fear,
though really it was more thoroughgoing than that
as in far more cruel, for here at last was the exceptional thing
that old fucker otherworldly Michelangelo had done
as in made way way way way way back when.

Adrian Blevins is the author of Live from the Homesick JamboreeThe Brass Girl Brouhaha, and two chapbooks—The Man Who Went Out for Cigarettes, and, most recently, Bloodline. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including a Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Foundation Award. She teaches at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
*Photo courtesy of Nicholas A. Tonelli.
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