Saturday, March 21, 2020

Charlie Brice writes

The Truth About What Could Have Happened

I never caught her name.
After coffee, after a silence
that stood between us like
an unexploded landmine,
she left my trailer with
neither a kiss nor wave.

Budweiser, peanut butter, and
a Camel for breakfast—
they say life is short.

Outside the welfare office
I wait for the work truck.
I’ll cut pulp in the UP today.
On the way to the bridge
we pass birches, cedars,
aspens, and evergreens,
but it’s the jungle in Nam
that haunts me: the weed,
the smack, the blood mist
when I scored a hit—22 kills
that I’m sure of—all that
I was ever good at.

Tonight, I’ve got enough
for a six-pack and half the rent.
I knife into the peanut butter jar.

After the jobs, rehabs, and relapses,
mother threw me out. When she died
she left her money to the church—
the only place it could do any good.

Someone slaps the trailer door.
It’s the woman. “I thought
you could use this,” she says,
hands me a bucket of KFC.
Inside I pass her a beer.
The chicken’s crispy good.

1 comment:

  1. Camel is an American brand of cigarettes that contain a blend of Turkish and Virginia tobacco developed by Richard Joshua "R. J." Reynolds in 1913. It was originally developed to have a milder taste than established brands. Budweiser is an American-style pale lager beer introduced in 1876 by Carl Conrad & Co. of St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to the hops and barley malt used by all lagers it is made from up to 30% rice. Conrad and Adolphus Busch developed it as a "Bohemian-style" beer and named it with a German adjective meaning "of Budweis," a town in Budweis (now České Budějovice, Czechia) where beer had been brewed since its founding in 1245. The Czech and American beers are both called "The King of Beers."

    KFC was founded in Corbin, Kentucky, by Harland Sanders during the Great Depression. He was taught to cook at 7 by his widowed mother and, in 1930, he took over a Shell filling station on US Route 25 and started selling chicken pieces to travelers. By 1936 he was so successful that the governor of Kentucky named him an honorary Kentucky colonel, the state's highest title of honor (formalized in 1813). In 1939 he modified the newly-invented pressure cooker for use as a pressure fryer and by 1940 finalized his "original recipe" of 11 herbs and spices. He opened his 1st "Kentucky Fried Chicken" franchise in South Lake City, Utah, in 1952; the franchisee, Pete Harman, was responsible for coining the name "Kentucky Fried Chicken," the slogan "finger-lickin' good," and the cardboard "bucket meal." In 1955, because Interstate 75 would bypass Corbin, Sanders sold out and began a franchise business. By 1963, with 600 restaurants, the company was the largest fast food operation in the US. KFC became the official brand in 1991 to distance the chain from the unhealthy connotations of "fried."


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