The Slush-Yo-Mouth truck pulls up

in the magic half-hour between

softball and baseball tournaments

with cobalt blue paint chipping off

as the truck bounces off the potholes

and split-in-half bats left on the dirt

road leading into the park from the

county highway. A Snow Cone in

purple parachute pants, no shirt,

and oversized aviator sunglasses

riding a neon green and burnt

orange skateboard is painted

to the right of the serving window,

using a mini version of itself as

a microphone while Wu Tang Clan

screams they’re nothing to fuck with

from the open back doors, singing

along but quit when the youth pastor

walks by, terrified he’d tell our coach

and we’d have to run laps around

the field. The younger kids pull chunks

of paint off and throw them at each

other when the games start back up

and their parents turn back to watch as

the pitcher panics about the left-handed

batter who just moved to town. We

watch and throw hunks that missed

the intended kid back into the impromptu

fighting pit to see how much more

chaos we could cause. We wait in line

behind the kids who run up with a couple

of dollar bills in one hand and boiled

peanuts in the other even though

they’re still sticky from their morning

moon pies and R.C. colas, covered

in stains from the black sand we called

dirt and clay from the unfished ball field.

We change behind the Port-a-Jons that

smell like weed, Ax body spray, and puked

up corndogs from our cleats into flip flops

and softball pants into cheer-shorts, ignoring

what our mothers said about how girls

who roll their shorts more than once

end up like Glenda the hooker.

 

by Betsy Rupp

 

Betsy Rupp’s previous work appears in Emrys Journal and has been accepted for presentation at the Southern Writers Graduate Conference. She is currently working toward completing her MFA in Poetry at Florida State University. Previously, she earned her MA in English Literature, with a concentration in Poetry, from Mississippi State University. She focuses her work on exploring the beautiful strangeness of her small Florida hometown.

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