First Carolina Said-Song*
Ammons, A. R. (1926-2001)

In them days
      they won't hardly no way to know if
        somebody way off
            till they'd be
            dead and buried

            and Uncle Jim

hitched up a team of mules to the wagon
and he cracked the whip over them
      and run them their dead-level best
the whole thirty miles to your great grandma's funeral
            down there in
            Green Sea County

            and there come up this
awfulest rainstorm
        you ever saw in your whole life
        and your grandpa
        was setting in a goat-skin bottomed chair

and them mules a-running
and him sloshing around in that chairful of water

            till he got scalded
            he said

            and ev-
anch of skin come off his behind:

we got there just in time to see her buried
      in an oak grove up
      back of the field:

it's growed over with soapbushes and huckleberries now.

* (as told me by an aunt)

The Oxford Book of American Light Verse (Harmon)