There’s a country song for almost anything–
herding cattle in a Cadillac, wanting
to go home, or wanting to leave–
but famously it’s love and heartbreak.


The twang of steel and string
makes a perfect couple to the high lonesome.
But in the 70s, to remain relevant, Nashville fell
for a broader, poppy sound: Countrypolitan.

By ’86, Reba McEntire sang “Whoever’s
in New England” and won herself a
Grammy, its dulcet instrumentation
like sweeping pop ballads, a response
to a bland beautiful Barry Manilow tune. 


I used to cry for a boy up northeast, once.
After years of crying over men, I quit. 
Not much surprises me anymore.