Now Jack,

he’s a country boy,

country boy born and bred.

On’y time he’s ever in th’city‘swhen

he’s lookin’ fer a shortcut home.


And Kevin?

Well, Kevin’s a country boy through and through,

‘ceptin’ Kevin’s born’n’bred in th’city.

Lives in the city, too.


That’s how they do it now, y’know,

that there ain’t no jobs left down’n the country



you’re a doctor who sells drugs.


I ain’t try’n t’tell ya Kevin lived downtown,


but he lived close

or close enough.

I mean on any day his truck din’t run

th’man could walk there

in a easy hour

if he hap’t’lack the money for the bus.

I mean he coulda asked for help

or hitched a ride from som’un

‘cept these country-fried


like Kevin,

they kinda keep unto theirselves,


and only haunt the rest of us

when they’re doin’ a piece of work for pay, leastwise

to us outsiders

that’s the way it seems.

The thing about a lot of ’em

that you gotta un’erstan’

is they do good work

and that was true of Kevin

and the crew he hung with, too.


And please don’t git alarmed here

but it’s prob’ly safest if you know

they stick together,

these folk.

I mean

a couple of ‘em

could be havin’ themselves

a –

whatchacallit? –


but if you or me or

som’un else from outside’d

dare go after one’a them

th’whole dang bunch

on both sides of the feud

’d go after that outsider

all together

‘n beat ‘em to a bloody pulp

afore they recommenced to feudin’.


My frien’ Ann told me ‘bout the time

she was workin’ in their neighborhood

when word went out

the po-lice was out there lookin’

for a boy

who’s head was shaved

and who

when he’s last seen

was wearin’ a bright red shirt.

Nex’ day, Ann said,

every kid in the neighborhood wore red

and all of them had shaved their head.


Please un’erstan’ I don’ mean nothin’ by this –

not negative nor pos’tive neither –


I never once met Kevin

until he’s maybe forty-fi’ or maybe forty-six.


if you’re askin’ my opinion


you’re right

I know his hair woulda’ grown back in by then

but I swear he did look good in red


outsider that I really am,

just sensin’ who Kevin might’a been

made me try t’ talk like him.