Bourbon

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Bourbon

by R.T. Smith
Southern Cultures, Vol. 18, No. 1: Spring 2012

". . . Earl was a steady liar who never in his life solved a single crime, to hear my father tell it, an improvident soul prone to nocturnal misdemeanors himself . . ."

My father was hooked on one brand, Ancient Age,
always in pints perhaps to stow snug in the glove box
with the pearl-handled pistol, and likely to prove
he was a moderate man, and he would tell stories
of his partner Earl Thatcher, a devotee of excess,
intolerance and wrath, who’d slip away from dinner
to take a piss but slink back to the room, sneak a sip
from my father’s bottle and add water to hide his habit,
but Earl was a steady liar who never in his life solved
a single crime, to hear my father tell it, an improvident
soul prone to nocturnal misdeamnors himself, a bald
rascal who ran with underage women and ate Chinese
straight from the white box with sticks, an imposter
who didn’t know a six-cylinder from a V-eight.