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The Follower's Tale by Stephen Roger Powers

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Drive My Urn to Dollywood

Powers, Stephen Roger

in the backseat of Aunt Lu’s ice cream
white 1975 Lincoln Continental.  Drive slow,
follow the scenic Kentucky byway through Mud
Lick, pass the grassy old drive-in theater just before
the Tennessee state line, roll through Livingston
and crooked Overton County,
where I sat one July afternoon in a crowded second

floor courtroom with broken air
conditioning.  A fat sweaty judge
said Land Sakes Alive and dismissed me
after twenty minutes.

Go the Wears Valley route,
beat traffic the back way into Pigeon Forge.
Stop in Sevierville, take a picture of my urn balanced
on the head of the bronze Dolly Parton statue.  Powder her nose

with some of my ashes.  Say a prayer for me,
thank that air conditioner for breaking
down.  Continue to Dollywood, wait in line for the Tennessee
Tornado, scribble a haiku in my memory,

then sit in the very last row of the roller
coaster, hold the cover of my urn tight until you corkscrew
through the last butterfly loop.  When you’re upside
down at the top let my ashes fly.


Copyright Stephen Roger Powers 2009

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