Andrew Burd
Andrew Burd was a poet in denial until coming out of the closet in 1993, after writing “Bakersville Wood,” the first of his social commentary poems. Before finding his voice, Andrew served as a soldier, worked heavy construction, dabbled in gunsmithing and private investigations and played faithful sidekick to an atavistic, gun-toting mortician. Accepting his fate, Andrew traded in his blue-collar-401K- house with picket fence- reality for a cardboard box apartment, an empty notebook, and an open road. He exorcised the demons from his soul, quoting his verse in New Orleans bars, Kansas Coffee shops, under the train trestles of Memphis, to the homeless-missions of Chicago. He has currently taken root in Portage, Michigan, working in a warehouse by day and performing poetry with his friends at the Kraftbrau Brewery by night.
Andrew Burd, photo by Kevin Charles

BAKERSVILLE WOOD


It would have cost five hundred grand to haul
the load away.
I wheeled and dealed and nobody squealed, the
load disappeared by the end of the day.
When I got home, I took my boy for a walk out
to Bakersville Wood.
We always took my daddy's .22. The rabbit
hunting at Bakersville always was good.

Me and my daddy hunted Bakersville, 'til the
month that he went to the Promised Land.
Then those woods became my best friend. I
knew every tree like the back of my hand.
I should have noticed the dying grass and the
sick rabbit and the smell of gas,
but there was plenty of game and we were having fun.
Me and my boy and that .22 gun.

The next day at work the boss slapped my back.
He slipped a wad of bills into my lunch sack.
That afternoon, I worked my magic once more,
another load disappeared by a quarter to four.
When I got home, I took my boy for a walk out
to Bakersville Wood.
We always took my daddy's .22. The rabbit
hunting at Bakersville always was good.
I should have noticed the dying grass, the
dead rabbit, and the smell of gas.
But there was plenty of game and we were
having fun. Me and my boy and that .22 gun.

Well, the years went by and the money was good.
My boy and me hunted all over that wood.
I didn't realize what that money was worth.
I didn't know my boy wasn't long for this earth.
I should have noticed the dying grass and the
rabbit bones and the smell of gas.
But there was plenty of game and we were having fun.
Me and my boy and that .22 gun.

Well, the doctor said it would take 5 hundred grand
to make it all go away.
I wheeled and dealed, and then I started to shout.
But the boss didn't know what I was talking about.
Well, I guess I got crazy, 'cause I hit him real hard.
I got ran up the gate by the security guard.
They cleaned out my office, threw my records away.
So I made a quiet call to the EPA.

When I got home I took my boy for a walk out
to Bakersville Wood.
We sat on a hill and looked at fields and farms,
then my little boy passed away in my arms.
That's when I noticed the dying grass,
and the rabbit bones,
and the smell of gas.
Over by the fence sat a barrel with a name.
It and my old company were one and the same.
Me and my boy hunted Bakersville, 'til the month
that he went to the Promised Land.
Those ol' woods, they were my best friend.
I thought I knew every tree like the back of my hand.

by Andrew Burd
copyright 1996