Adapted from Virgil
Cory the farmhand burned with love
for the pale-skinned Alex, the boss’s favorite.
Cory knew he had no chance, but he
would still hang out in the pine grove
and holler out his misery:
“Alex, you are way too cruel.
Don’t you even hear me at all?
Don’t you feel a little pity?
You’ll be the death of me if not.
Even the animals come to the shade
with me in the heat of the day and let
me pet them. And when the workers come
back home tired out from bailing hay,
Tess cooks up some food for them,
and they’re all joking with each other,
but I am all on my lonesome,
going back out in the sun to try
to figure out where you’ve run off to.
I’d be better off putting up
with moody Mario or Malcolm the tease,
both dark-haired, not blond like you.
But don’t obsess with color, handsome;
white privet blossoms fall to the ground,
just like dark hyacinths get pulled.
You just look down on me, Alex,
if you notice me at all.
If you bothered to ask, you would know
that my dad is rich, and one day
I’ll inherit his land and stock.
I see you and love what I see,
but I’m pretty hot myself;
I was looking at my reflection
in the catfish pond today,
and I’d be a match for Denny, that boy
that everybody raves about,
even if you were doing the judging.
I wish you could be happy living
with me in a rustic cabin in the woods,
going deer-hunting when we’re not herding cows,
or drinking on the porch and singing
country songs when we finish our chores.
I have a guitar, and I reckon
I can play about as well as Monty can.
And I know where to find
a couple of whitetail deer
I was saving to stalk with you,
but my cousin Theo wants to hunt them,
and I guess he might as well,
since you don’t want any favors from me.
Oh, come on, handsome boy, and bring
me a package. But, no, I know
you won’t, and I’m just making myself
miserable for nothing. Yet and still
I know the woods, and like a wolf
eats up a goat that eats the grass,
driven by instinctive hunger,
I want a taste of you; my love’s
a fire that no one can put out.
But if you won’t put out for me,
or even look my way and smile,
I guess it’s time to hit the road
and find myself another Alex.”
T. Allen Culpepper