She said, "Treat me right."
He said, "Count on me."
From one to ten, he's sure to begin real good
But falls apart by the time he hits
He tries to get to three.
This has to do with his stutter
Which he's learning at nights to correct.
She pays for it for him,
She's slow, patient, waiting
For to hear all the things
He ain't said just quite right yet.
Meantime he watches her sing nightly
At Hopewell's Motel Pool Hall.
He listens intent past closing time
Which is always her best time of all.
It's then she sings his song,
The one where she glows, slow, simple and good,
The one about corn flowers and how they always should
Grow near the highway, pretty, strong and plain.
If Better weren't there to hear that song
Maybelline wouldn't feel just quite the same.
It's important, she knows, to share with him
Her idea about simple things being the best.
If he understands, she knows really well
That he'll be by her right side
Until she sure needs him on her left.
Later each night on their drive home
They take the truck he parks down the hill
So as to help it crank when it starts.
Like his stutter, it skips a little still
Though somehow it's always reliable.
It's old but made of good parts,
Which May says means you can count on it, sure.
Together they read Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
To learn the true meaning of things.
This helps Better feel more secure.
He draws halos around her head
In his dreams and there they share
Real, not gold-plated, diamond rings
But what matters the most,
He knows when she wakes,
Is the work they both do
And the care that it takes to wake up right
Some nights when they been fighting
And to clean up good after each meal.
Simple flowers are all that grow outside their door
But it's a pretty trailer still.
He waters the yard twice while she's sleeping
Which she does so her voice can rest to sing.
I see them living just like this next door
And I'm always left wondering
How Maybelline Lowell and Better Left Hayes
Support themselves on bar tips and beer
And how they don't get bored most long days
With the slow way things grow around here.
Better informs me over Black Jack regular
That he's a man amazed at every word she says
And he believes there's nary a reason to worry.
He says, "That girl May, she spins my wheels still.
She's a certified real good wheel-spinner.
So, hit me, I'm winning, my gears are stripped, spinning
And I'll stay in place with her,
As sure and as long as forever."