It was hot as a hot dog one side seared black
in central Illinois the corn as short as me
hot as a corn cob right out of the pot hot as a stack
of pancakes brown and buttery.
Small town but not too small on Saturday night
from thirty miles in all directions trouble drove in
there was dancing at the Buckle and anyone might
find Angel there grooving.
During the summer is when you’d see college kids
from Champange-Urbana or up from Springfield
kids smart as thunderstoms and sharp as politics
looking to rile and get riled.
One of them was Victor on an engineering scholarship
energy enough to light up most of the midwest
born back east but on his way across the hills and flats
and plains and peaks to success.
Angel had a secret and she had a plan for it
as big as all outdoors and tiny as a corpuscle
she needed what she needed and would do what she had to do
meaning tossing a lasso around an innocent lad.
Not an especially busy night at the Buckle
a good juke box though and some dark corner booths
the way Angel shook her long locks and played with it
had Victor half way between vodka and vermouth.
She wasn’t drinking because of what the doctor said
and he wasn’t thinking as clear as in a classroom
the equation came down to the chemical factors
and heat and summer and headstrong passion.
When her baby was born Angel was in heaven
and so was her husband Victor now working
in a fireworks factory in the Rockies not grieving
the loss of the life he’d planned and shirked.