Hillbilly Elegy

The palace is blues, blacks and golds
crystal gardens frozen in diamond ice
from frosted trees hang silver apples
the rustic man who wandered far from
safe fields has strayed to enchantment,
he takes in the white peacocks, he sips
from crystal fountains, his whole life
has been devoted to grit and his master
who watches from a moonshine throne
the leather-worn man lays out a table for
feasting, fresh killed dun deer, sparkling
pears and wine, the dedicant waits, and
in beams of lightning from cloudless skies
the Man in Black descends to meet him,
this long-journeying hero, who back home
was exiled for devotion to the chthonic,
his wife and children and family never
understood that liquor tastes sweeter when
you brew it, that soup is purer when you
boil the bones of your own limbs, so in
twilight, God and Man dine, speak of many
things, and I watch from a window in my
cage, the Man in Black’s yellow canary,
I sing for human and hero, I cry for the
dead, his soul is sweet in my lord’s heart,
and with a single soft sigh, he passes on.


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