by Tom Swift

Laziest man ever was Floyd Scott
it wasn’t nothing that boy
would ever do for anybody
when he’s 5 years old
arredy too late his mamma one day
sez Floyd come take this trash out
to the barrel but he just lain there
in the living room on the furniture
so she sez you taking this trash out
like I told you?
he never answered she sed
you want to take this trash out
to the barrel or do you want a whipping?
he sez finally how many licks?
she sed 3 with the flyswatter
he didn’t say nothing for a minute
she thought he’s coming to get it
then he sed do I have to
come out there or will you come
give it to me in here?

… he was 24 years old when he
went and got in the car to drive
down to the grocery store a block away
to get him a can of beer
had this terrible itch that was a tragedy
he stretched up to scratch his ast
hit the curb and rolled the car
on flat ground right over
Doctor sed he couldn’t find
nothing wrong with the x-ray
but his back wasn’t strong enough
for him to walk on it after that
insurance bought him 4 different wheelchairs
all too hard for him to use
till they got one with a electric motor on it
he sed he was satisfied
never walked a hundred steps in a row after that
some days he sed it was too hard and not worth the effort
to even get out of bed to it
so he got a television set in his bedroom
to help him get by on social security
that same year 4 kinds of welfare
and the Assemblyofgod brought his supper
on all days with a R in them

county paid for him a private nurse
because he sed it was a soft spot
in that pavement caused his accident
of their negligence and behavior
he was gone sue the county
and the town for a million dollars
if they didn’t take care of him till he got well
they thought it’d be cheaper to buy him a nurse
for however long it took
after three years she found a way to get married to him
and still have the county pay her for being a nurse’s helper
bought them a trailer they put in
right next to his daddy’s house

where he didn’t have to pay no rent
after that she give up her other patients
and kept the county money for watching him
it was enough to get by on they sed

she’s almost as lazy as he was
I heard moss grown in her toilets
they put a deep freezer out on the front porch
to hold the TV dinner she fixed
on all days without a R
both of them got so fat they had to have 2 couches
in the living room to set and watch TV on
so lazy a dog couldn’t live with them
it’d of starved to death waiting
for one of them to come feed it

-David Lee, “Lazy,” A Legacy of Shadows (1999)