Once I lived in a town in north Louisiana
where you had to drive 30 miles to get a beer
in Monroe where the barkeep asked me, trying to help,
if I didn't think it might be me that was unfriendly.
A student, a professor's son, broke into my office
and peed on my desk because I'd separated him
from two Vietnam vets who were copying
from him. He would "have it out with me," he yelled
crazy in his eyes, if I did it again, so I knew
it was him. The vets dropped the course.
I asked the dean what to do about Sonny Boy.
"If it was me I'd whup his ass," he drawled.
In the spring I got drunk in New Orleans and stretched out
in a field, feeling finally like a real Louisiana man
beside the highway coming home to sober up.