The outsiders blew into town drivin just a little too fast in their fancy foreign car laughin at our roadside yard sales and our little café, Lita’s Chicken Shack, where you can get a blue plate special of turnip greens, sweet potatoes, cornbread, your choice of three meats, sweet tea and a slice of Lita’s caramel cake every Friday ofyour life for $5.95. They stopped and nosed around the 45’s and the LP’s thinkin we wouldn’t know a “vintage” Blues record if it hit us in the face but, truth is, we’re the ones been singin that tune since we sat in the pea-pickin basket along side our mothers in the fields, daddy plowin with Ole Daisy pushin up clods of red earth gettin ready for the next crop to be planted.
They rifle through the clothes on the line makin faces and actin like we might have cooties but then they set their city asses down in the best corner booth in Lita’s, the one where the boys from the shirt factory in Pontotoc usually eat on Friday’s – they gonna be fit to be tied when they come in and find outsiders in that booth. But, bein brought up with good southern manners, they’ll just tip their hats to ‘em and take a table in the middle of the room where they have to watch out for the young’uns playin on the floor with their legos.
Seems like they don’t much like the menu but, bein’s this is the only place in town to eat, they ask for water (probly don’t know it’s from the tap) and eat most everything but the greens, makin their funny faces again, I guess they don’t know what real southern eatin is (like they don’t know real blues) but they sure did eat up that caramel cake, well, you’d have to be crazy not to like Lita’s cake anyway. They pay the check and flounce outa the café, get in their shiny foreign car and drive off, just like that. Us, we just smile and talk amongst ourselves ‘bout the funny ways of city folk, always livin life in a hurry and thinkin the blues is just “vintage music” played by some old black men in the country, never thinkin any day they could be singin that tune too.
Charlotte Hamrick is an amateur photographer and fledgling writer who is finally free to follow her bliss after years of the nine-to-five lifestyle. Zouxzoux is the online home for her original poetry which has also been published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Mad Swirl, Poets For Living Waters, Metazen and other online literary magazines. In 2010 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem “Ten O’clock”. She lives in New Orleans with her husband, dogs and cats where she writes, photographs and eats the best food in the world.
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