Welcome to South Carolina This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
Lonely two-lane roads,
dark, thick woods,
and rolling hills.
The sun sets behind us,
our eyes are drowsy, we can drive no more.

At a Ramada Inn
we ask the clerk
about restaurants with local color
since we can go to McDonald's at home.
Across the street, he says,
you'll find the Dixie Railroad.

A few old trucks
in the parking lot.
A Confederate flag hangs on the door.
No windows,
no sounds,
no life.

Southern Hospitality, the sign says.
So we enter and are overcome
by the stench of cigarettes
and the jukebox boom-chicka-boom
of Johnny Cash's
“Get Rhythm.”

People sitting in the bar
are unmoving,
unblinking,
unsmiling,
unfeeling,
unholy.

We tiptoe into another room:
dark, unadorned,
an empty stage,
in an empty space
where only the ghosts of happiness remain.

The faded lady
behind the bar
stares at us in silence.
Her customers do the same.
They seem dead,
yet they seem angry.

We head straight for the car
and pull onto the interstate
thinking only one thing
as we look for familiar flashing neon signs:
right now
A Big Mac never sounded so good.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 11 comments. Post your own now!

spiria said...
Dec. 28, 2010 at 9:29 am

Wow.. it's like I'm there at the scene! Such descriptive details!

I love the ending. :)

 
Eilatan This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 3, 2010 at 5:56 am

THIS IS AMAZING.

such a wry ending! i love the title and how it fits in so naicely with everything else... good job!!!!!

 
Skittlelover said...
Mar. 14, 2010 at 3:41 pm
Wow...You are so talented and I love this poem!!!
 
Lisa K. said...
Oct. 25, 2009 at 3:36 pm
WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!
 
Duckie430 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm
this is really interesting. good job.
 
Ivette1994 said...
Oct. 12, 2009 at 2:18 pm
i like the repetition that u use in this poem
 
JoCoGirl said...
Oct. 11, 2009 at 9:43 pm
Nicely written i must say, but you can find "dead" places anywhere. Luckily, i'm from North Carolina, a bit more life and good times here! LOL I love the slow pace of things. I'll admit it's not for everyone, but it fits me. :)
- Country Girl
 
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm
Great poem. No wonder it got published in the magazine! I loved your descriptions. I recently went to South Carolina so the title of your poem is what made me read it.
 
Katie.T. said...
Oct. 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm
Such a wonderful poem. Like a story, I didn't no what was going to happen next!
 
LostinthisWorld.67 said...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm
This is really good. I live in South Carolina.
 
colcojo replied...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 9:35 pm
I really enjoyed the poem, both in the way you wrote it and also how you organized it. The topic you chose to write about also interests me greatly. I particuarly liked you described the people sitting at the bar as,
"unmoving,
unblinking,
unsmiling,
unfeeling,
unholy."
becuase my brain naturally associates all of those "un" words with a negative connotation, which is exactly (I hope) the effect you were hoping for. I also liked how ... (more »)
 
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