Altvatter had a mission
Sunday evenings during deer season
when he piled all the kids on Main Street
into the back of the hearse
and drove south of town to the parking lot
in front of Chili North’s Steak House on US 131.
Without a word he pulled in,
parked the rear of the hearse
as close as he could to the highway
and yanking open the tailgate
ordered us to get out and watch the parade.
Like so many stunned opossums and skunks
we peered through the snakegrass and briars
along the side of the road
and tried to make out what we could.
Drinking and driving bumper to bumper
the drivers laid on their horns,
whistled and shouted or gave the high sign
as they eye-balled each other’s cars
and the handsome bucks lashed to the hoods.