Southern Gothic

by Sam Kealhofer


Well Daddy didn’t teach me much

Except to not fall for the same trick twice,

And Mamma used to always say

The good Lord don’t roll no dice.


I suppose that means

He’s not a gambling man,

But I’m not quite sure

Of how that pertains

Cause what’s the big man got to gain?


Well Daddy didn’t teach me much

Expect how to play a mean round of pool,

And how to eye the crowd

To tell a player from a fool.


Daddy liked to play the odds.

Would put a Jackson and a Jameson

Atop the pool table,

And butter up some poor sap

With words as sweet as maple.


After Daddy would win

He’d throw back the Jameson,

And ask if they’d want to rack again.

Either way, He’d order another whiskey on ice,

And the whole time I’d just think

Of how the good Lord don’t roll no dice.


I guess that means

Daddy’s not much of a godly man,

And I’d often wonder

How that fit into the Lord’s plan.


Well once I told Momma

I didn’t much comprehend

How come God made us this way

And still punish us for sin?

She just shook her head,

Stared at me a moment, and said

Boy, the devil does what you ask of him

But that don’t make him a friend.

Sam Kealhofer is a Mississippi native pursuing a masters in Creative Writing at Mississippi State University.


August 2018

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