Everyone's a relative.
They couldn't be nicer to you.
Kinship's a great palliative
If you're not drunk and feeling blue.
He hears, downstream, rushing water,
The turbulence of Apple Falls,
Like Susanna, his stepdaughter,
Twisting the heads off of her dolls.
Leaning over in the canoe,
He plucks a solitary straw,
Takes another swig of brew,
Gaping in the collateral maw
Of kinship, looking for some clues
To what the patriarch Paw-Paw,
What the brothers, uncles, nephews,
Might do to his damned son-in-law.
After the last drop of liquor,
He stops paddling, begins to nod,
Drifting, drifting, down Red River,
Like a straw in the hand of God.
[I maintain a poetry blog at http://xpalidosis.blogspot.com ]