By Tim Peeler
There’s an owl-faced hillbilly boy staring at me across
The Cracker Barrel dining room where I’m sat back to the fireplace,
Waiting on pecan-crusted catfish, cornbread,
Collards, contemporary country music with its TV accent
Bursting forth like busted springs—that boy
Probably thinks I’m as old as the shit hanging on wall
To authenticate somehow this cattle drive of victuals,
And in the old days I would have frightened him or challenged
His daddy to step outside, but now I know I am just
Another spectacle pinned to the walls of the living
To someway make it look real.
About the Author: A past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, Tim Peeler has also twice been a Casey Award Finalist (baseball book of the year) and a finalist for the SIBA Award. He lives with his wife, Penny in Hickory, North Carolina, where he directs the academic assistance programs at Catawba Valley Community College. He has published close to a thousand poems, stories, essays, and reviews in magazines, journals, and anthologies and has written sixteen books and three chapbooks. He has five books in the permanent collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, NY. His recent books include Rough Beast, an Appalachian verse novel about a southern gangster named Larry Ledbetter, Henry River: An American Ruin, poems about an abandoned mill town and film site for The Hunger Games, and Wild in the Strike Zone: Baseball Poems, his third volume of baseball-related poems.