There was a man who helped
Us work on our Kentucky farm

His name was Billy Joe Kitchens
And that man was blameless and upright

One who feared God
And turned away from evil

There was born to him
One daughter and one son

Billy Joe had a speech impediment
He was married to my Uncle Pete’s daughter

Yvonne who Billy Joe called Ebon
I was never quite sure if my brother Brad

Was trying to sound like Billy Joe
Cause when Brad was a boy

Instead of calling me Ronnie
He and Billy Joe called me Wawa

I called Billy Joe’s son Little Kitchens
One Sunday Billy Joe brought his family

By our farm for an afternoon visit
At 5 years old Little Kitchens

Was a damn good guitarist and singer
He loved Hank Williams Senior

And knew most of his songs
Little Kitchens cussed better

Than most grown ups I’d heard cuss
Wherever he went he took his guitar and

His rocking chair his chewing tobacco and
His camel cigarettes

Daddy asked Little Kitchens
To sing us some songs

So Billy Joe set his son’s
Rocking chair down in our dirt driveway

Right between the house and the barn
Little Kitchens was dressed in a cloth diaper

And brown cowboy boots it was a hot Sunday
He spit out his tobacco while tuning

His guitar and when his mother Yvonne
Came out the back door Little Kitchens

Said “Mama bring me a goddamn cigarette
and a glass of milk” Yvonne without missing

A beat turned around went back into the house and
Fetched the cigarette and glass of milk

After Little Kitchens took two long draws
Off his Camel and a long swig of unpasteurized milk

He lit right into one of the best versions
Of “Jambalaya” I’ve ever heard

Ron Whitehead

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