Elizabeth Akin Stelling
West Texas Rain and JR
By Tyson West
You’ve heard of a woman’s glory
Being spent on a “downright cur”
Still you can’t always judge the story
As true, being told by her.
Bonnie Parker “Suicide Sal”
Each crop of young girls comes a new to believe
In the strong arms and soft words of a man
Since I shot my chance to mother
Then spoils their grandchildren
I must possess a throat to speak my words
To keep my voice alive.
No woman bakes biscuits at Endor now
Whose familiar spirit can call me up
Houdini’s wife can’t get no word out of him each Halloween
Since he took that sucker punch
But my true medium twists with you ─ old man on the verge
Of your sixty fifth year signing up for Social Security
Awash with the visions of Baltic blood
And the sins of your self deception.
I weren’t no childish moll who found Clyde by the grace
Of hard fate under the Texas sun
Old man you never picked chain gang cotton
Or cussed a tough Texas sheriff to his face
You sit dreaming here of the weathered out building and 1932 Ford V8 backed in like Clyde used to
To give us a quick get away
Ford V8 like the one we died in
On the Louisiana highway.
Old man keep following the glow on your magic screen
That leads you now to my desires
For the love of a restless man
I’m lucky you too can appreciate my poems
And the Kodak pictures
I never wrote as short or muddy
As Adelade Crapsy
Nor as wild and free as Edna St. Vincent Millay
Nor was any of my photos as neat as Sonya Noskowiak
These ladies here encourage me
To move beyond my juvenilia with Clyde
Still I got to keep talking about him
For he made me as I made him.
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