Academic journal article English Journal

Creative Writing Field Trip Pickens County Flea Market

Academic journal article English Journal

Creative Writing Field Trip Pickens County Flea Market

Article excerpt

i

Puppies and hunting dogs swelter in cages along a dirt trail

to a tent where the reedy notes of blue grass penetrate pollen-heavy air.

Surrounded by azaleas in plastic buckets, ripe tomatoes,

boiled peanuts, socks filched one at a time from the production line,

bullets, knives, worn camouflage hats, boxes of food with expired dates,

nintendoes and videotapes, remnants of 100 garage sales on wooden tables,

the local talent rests on worn metal chairs cast off from someone's kitchen

to pick out melodies more ancient than their audience, one grandmother,

her toothless gums processing stale juicy fruit in the same rhythm as

her worn tennis shoes tapping south carolina red dust.

ii

Enter twenty-six high school students led by two Katies in pink hats,

one fuzzy, one stockinged, trying to outdo each other in teenage disrespect,

lighters and lingerie, sex words, giggles, easy conversation.

iii

Drew in his camo hat eats trail mix at a picnic table and scribbles about graduating

with his favorite cousin. Tobias and John describe their treasures: a vintage comic book,

and a souvenir coke can worth way more than the $4 John gave. Holly hasn't talked

any more about mom's new boyfriend, but he's in her notebook. Jayme, smiling, is

probably writing about the girls throwing food at him. …

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