A Place In The Middle Of Nowhere

Boondocks Boardwalk
By James Seals

I laugh at the irony
as the country music group
Little Big Town sings
about the boondocks:
a phrase
that Oxford English Dictionary

tells us
derives from the Tagalog word
which means mountain.
Little Big Town sings
that they feel no shame

they’re proud of where they came
from being born and raised
in the boondocks:
an expression that is now a relic
of American military occupation
in the Philippines.

So this Filipino boy is left
to believe
that Little Big Town proudly hails
from the mountains
of the PI
where the Philippine-American War

was a fierce battle,
leaving dead
more than 4,200 American soldiers
and over 20,000 Filipino fighters.
Little Big Town also croons
that one thing they know

no matter where they go
they keep their heart and soul
in the boondocks:
a saying that no one cared to use
until it was brought
to mainstream attention

because of a now largely forgotten
fatal training accident
on Parris Island,
which resulted in the death
of six American marines.
But what can one expect

what can I expect
why should anyone
remember root words
as society continually stripes
terms and expressions
of their original connotation

just like the definition of the “boondocks”
has completely shifted
from its military-based meaning
to one
that the American heartland

Category: Poetry