Subtitles 11: Variations on a Bumper Sticker on a Sheriff's Cruiser in Madison County

Matthew James Babcock​

     In God we trust.  We trust in God. We, in God, trust.  We got some serious God trust in these

parts.  Trust in God?  Wheee!  We, the people of this hick town, trust that since we live so far out

in the sticks nobody of national consequence will invade our bunker in the boonies to see how

we plaster religious propaganda on law enforcement vehicles paid for by local taxpayers who

tend to think alike and who run shrieking from the merest whiff of controversy, who would rather

grill their own faces in a waffle iron than ruffle a single civic tail feather, but who are actually

just horrified that anyone might discover that, even accidentally, they may have nudged a toe

outside the hopscotch lines of social normalcy that have defined public sensibilities in this

remote mountain valley of farmers, teachers, medical staff, small business owners, auto

mechanics, footloose kooks, and hairdressers for the last seven generations. 

     In God we rust.  Our good we boost.  To us a toast!  Gringo or bust!  Trust us, we’ve lived

here longer than you have, and the last thing we need is some free-thinking hogwash slopping

toxic notions into our kids’ heads.  God, it’s easy to develop trust issues nowadays, with so many

people saying we should believe one thing and then another. It’s easy to get defensive, to lash out

at everything that seems hell-bent on knocking you off your personal bedrock.  What is belief but

a place to stand?  Or a phrase with a rolling rhythm, like a country hymn or the beat of boots on a

barn floor, the way people used to dance through the yellow chaff after harvest, a phrase that

when you say it leaves you brimming the way the final exultant wash of red and gold light

saturates the sky before dusk purples and seeps into starry space behind the ragged blue

mountains.  It’s hard for me to say what I want to say, which is exactly our problem today:

everyone wanting to speak, and everyone telling everyone what we can and can’t say, which

might be the most transcendent and terrifying truth of all.  

     Good God, we’re lost!  In mud we roost.  In blood we roast.  In city, on coast.  On God we

trounce.  God, why do we resist?  God’s wee trust is in us.   

Idahoan. Writer. Failed breakdancer.