Ezy Reading
Liberal, Kansas
Evan Kanarakis


Liberal, KS

The old Chevy gave in
Right on a stretch of 54
That turned into something called
‘West Pancake Boulevard’
And with that
Welcome to Liberal, Kansas

I had only just pulled over
Skidding to a halt in the dust
Cursing and hissing
Smoke and more smoke
Pluming from the engine
When everyone showed up

And I mean everyone:
What had been, just seconds before
A seemingly empty road
Now had no less than six pickups
And one police cruiser
Rushing to my aid

It was a touch overwhelming if I’m honest
As these huge men emerged from their vehicles
An angry posse
Here to harangue a lost traveler
For bringing commotion
To their peaceful little town

Far from it-
They flung open my door
“A hell of a lot of smoke there, son.
You alright in there?”
And before I had time to reply
Popped the bonnet and commenced repairs

Of this charitable contingent
The officer was last to greet me
He was busy calling ahead
To see if the Comfort Inn had rooms available
“Because he may be here a day or two before we get his truck good as new”
They hadn’t even asked my name

I stayed in town two days
Made new friends (and yes, ate some pancakes)
Marveled at this instant hospitality
They shrugged it off- “Bah. It’s in our history, that’s just who we are…
Now shake our hands, say ‘that’s very liberal of you all'
And be on your way"


Ezy Reading is out every month.