Here everyone wants us to sample their kettle corn and roasted nuts,
their thirteen varieties of fudge, and a life devoted to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Jerry is carving a bald eagle out of a tree stump.
Jerry’s twin brother is also carving a bald eagle out of a tree stump.
Behind a row of port-o-pottys, a group of men who claim to be Cherokee
wear feathered headdresses and eat walking tacos out of Frito-Lay bags
before returning to stage for their ceremonial stomp dance.
At five, four of the remaining Shriners in fezzes will be rolled out in wheelchairs
with petrified infants on their laps for the singing of the national anthem
by the high school choir, who made it all the way to state.
The only apples at this festival are covered in caramel or boiled into cider.
As Darlene approaches with her brand-new knockers and hula hoop earrings,
one of the Jerrys lets his chainsaw idle and wipes his brow with a dust covered sleeve.
Norman Minnick’s previous collections of poetry are To Taste the Water (winner of the First Series Award from Mid-List Press) and Folly (Wind Publications). He is the editor of Between Water and Song: New Poets for the Twenty-First Century (White Pine Press), Work Toward Knowing: Beginning with Blake (Kinchafoonee Creek Press), and the forthcoming Indianapolis Anthology (Belt). He lives in Indianapolis.