Flowers at a Biker Bar
Freshly planted in box beds just below
the line of tailpipes, these shrinking violets,
purple and white, are already tinged
tobacco–brown. The owner tells us his wife
put them there—why, he doesn't know.
All I know is to watch them shimmy
like go–go dancers, their tiny necks
exhausted. I've tripped on them twice, the way
I trip on the obvious–that we will shrivel
back to dust, and if we're lucky, flowers
will dance on our graves. I think this
as a leather fist twists the throttle and a black boot
kicks the world back into its favorite gear.
Bill Shelton teaches Spanish and English at Bethel University and plays bass in the band Nightfish. Recently his work has appeared in Nibble and in Glass: a Journal of Poetry. He lives in Murray, Kentucky, with his wife and two sons.