Dale Patterson


Eisenhower’s Unfolding America

One final sip and the Dixie Cup
flies out the window. It gallops
the shoulder on coconut hooves
as native hair flags
and her sweat beads to salt.

Two years before she buttoned
her gum to the dash to make out,
caught dreams in the web
of a promise.

He steps from the transport.
His duffle bag drops to the ground
and their lips reunite, but the kiss
is a corpse in Korea.

Anchored in Janesville
she dresses in ochre, works
taking orders. He paints Chevrolets
cool Biscayne blue.

Come night they sit in their yard
and drink Pabst. He tosses his cans
on the lawn. She stirs up the sky
with a ladle, adheres rhinestones
falling like stars.

A Call from the Panhandle

Propofol drips from the sky.
Nebraska spins into Kansas.
Alone at a rest stop I tilt back
my seat as if watching the news
from a hospital bed.

Beside me a brown paper bag,
the sandwich inside, hastily
made for the trip, bologna
and cheese. The white bread
sticks to my teeth, mayonnaise
a balm to my lips.

Oldies fade in and out. I hear
mystical lyrics from Zeppelin,
find comfort in moaning.
The rain snares my windshield.
I start up the car and continue
my journey.

Copyright © Dale Patterson 2013

Dale Patterson is a visual artist and poet living in Indiana. His work has appeared many online and print journals; most recently in Main Street Rag, Iodine, Museum of Americana, and Midwestern Gothic. Dale’s website is http://dalepattersonart.com/