Joy Hulga

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In response to Flannery O’Connor’s short story, Good Country People.

Seductress, she perceived herself as one,
Her cunning so unconsciously applied
To overwhelm his lesser, simple mind
With genius. Ah! a fog-free mind had she.

Secured by thoughts of Nothing she took off
To meet her object with her intellect,
(A boy so pure, so sweet, so like a child),
Inform him, yes, she’d liberate his mind.

Enlightened, she perceived herself as such,
She took no notice of his pressing kiss,
The surge instead improved her reasoning,
Sufficient, smart, and in control was she.

But then, how dare he doubt her suppleness,
She showed how independent she could be,
Then lying in the loft they kissed again,
He mumbled while her faculties grew sharp.

Alert and wise she knew herself to be,
(Alert, of course, means never noticing
When someone steals your glasses off your face),
A patronizing voice and pride had she.

But what a nerve he struck when he required
To see her peacock tail, her wooden leg,
But then she caved – he was so innocent,
Her heart had changed, he’d found her inward truth.

But then a shift. She saw herself as one
Divested of superiority,
His craftiness he consciously applied
To overcome her. Helpless, mad was she.

With leg in hand, or rather in his bag,
He vanished down the ladder, fled the barn,
Her intellect defeated by his wiles,
She watched the scene in all its irony.

Reliant she had made herself to be,
What happened? Her intelligence had failed
To see through his good country ‘Chrustian’ mask,
Dismembered, fooled, and left alone was she.
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