Daisy Duke, Hutchinson, Kansas, 1979

Thirty-five years ago today, The Dukes of Hazzard first aired on CBS. Although I never watched an episode of this popular show, it became an important part of my childhood. Today, I finally completed this poetic memory about those days on the playground at Central Christian Elementary. This one’s for you, Andy Chin, wherever you may be.

Creative commons, GNU Free Documentation License

Creative commons, GNU Free Documentation License

The photo captures

the dry, windy playground.

Where is the place

it held for the crippled girl

and her Chinese friend?


Most of all in these United States,

the Chinese boy loved

The Dukes of Hazzard—memorized

every line, recreated

every scene with other children

as pawns upon the playground,

moving as he directed (he was,

of course, the sheriff—what

dipstick wouldn’t obey).


One by one, the children tired

of his game, left

for swing sets, softball and kick-the-can,

until he stood alone

scuffing his shoes in the dust.


Wailing like a siren, he would pause

to chat with his Daisy,

still sitting where he had left her

on the schoolroom steps.


Time has scarcely faded

my mental snapshot

of that bumbling sheriff

and his adoring, crumpled Daisy.