Wayne Kyle Spitzer

The Once and Future Kings

And then we waited, watching the trucks with their billowing flags slowly move along the ridge, watching them go.

Last night I saw Lester Maddox on a TV show / With some smart-ass New York Jew / The Jew laughed at Lester Maddox / And the audience laughed at Lester Maddox too …

I heard gunshots—nothing major, just some idiot in the Tucker train shooting at the sky.

So I went to the park and I took some paper along / And that's where I made this song …


And then it started, the Apache firing two Hellfire missiles which hit a group of pickups at the start of the train and instantly blew them to pieces, glass and shrapnel flying, a body tumbling in the air.

We talk real funny down here / We drink too much, we laugh too loud / We're too dumb to make it in no northern town …

Two more missiles fired, this time at the other end of the train, blowing pickups and blue flags into the air, sending a cab higher than anything else—like the turrets of those Iraqi tanks in the first Gulf War—hurling a Rugged Terrain tire along the ridge, which eventually rolled down the hill.

We're keeping the niggers down …

More missiles, like scaled-up bottle rockets: hitting the column like hammers, making fireballs of King Cabs and beds of people; spitting from the chopper's hardpoints like fireworks, like flairs, incinerating skin and catching hair on fire, I knew, and didn't care, obliterating pennants and banners.

We're rednecks, we're rednecks / We don't know our ass from a hole in the ground …

Until he'd finally fired everything: Hellfires and Hydras, Stingers and Spikes, all of them hissing and screaming, finding their targets; all of them lighting the ridge up like the Fourth of July, or maybe the volcano at The Mirage, in Las Vegas, each making our world safer and saner and more secure—more righteous, more lost.

Each bringing smoke and silence and peace—like the lights in the sky themselves—to the war-torn hills of Earth.
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