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Good Baptist Boy


Down at the hospital you’re

not supposed to swear.

I mean, they don’t just disapprove;

they motha-freakin’ flip.


But a person I love is

dying here, I say.

Doesn’t matter, they say;

swearing upsets the others

who probably have people dying here also;


If you absolutely

have to swear, they say,

you can go out into the

streets, behind the hospital,

and swear there among the

others who are not swearing in here;


though it wouldn’t surprise us,

they say, if you died out there,

what with all your swearing and all.




Michael Van Dyke