Honk If You Love Billy Ray
by Amy S Wilson

White shoe polish engraves
to side windows,
rear window of the green Escort:
"Honk if you love Billy Ray
I love you Honey!
Happy Forty-Sixth!"

My Grandma Eunice baked angel food cake
for Grandpa Ramey
every birthday
until his 91st,
Grandma Euncie 87.

I smell that cake, lemon frosting,
Pink Humpty Dumpty candles
gum drops

As I drive I-40,
Two miles from the McCloud turn-off
The Escort exits mile marker 162,
Bethel Acres.

Going, I imagine to Billy Ray,
a man with black sideburns
gray t-shirt with an eagle or flag,

Beer gut of course,
PBR or Coors
the culprit.

He sits on the front porch
waiting and drinking a hooch jar
his Honey,
a name like Edna or La Donna,
she works at Subway or the middle school cafeteria,
Dale or Stroud,

She's the one
with the shoe polish parked in glove box
and heart pink earrings
dangling like wind chimes

As I pass her
driver's window down full way,

This Edna or La Donna--whoever she is--
chewing gum bobbing her head

To Tunes I can't hear.
I honk and she nods,
smiles big as the ocean.

Oh Boy, she capital "L" Loves him,
this Billy Ray
enough to bake this car
with white shoe polish,

the perfect frosting
to his cake
she does not bake

But writes to the windshield,
a mist in the air
erasing eventually
Billy Ray and love and highway scenery
From the road

As I drive into Pott County
on this windy day.

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