Transparent Words - Poetry


Gary Blankenship


Song of Myself #17 - Gate-Keeper

Song of Myself #18 - Teamster



Song of Myself #17 – Gate-Keeper



17.  the gate-keeper marks who pass


I’ve seen them all go by

from the mighty to the lowly


Grandmother with her last living kin

as they struggle to survive the Trail of Tears


lone trapper lost in a blizzard


runaway following the Ladle north

and a procession of  chained property

headed to rice marshes and yellow fever


bride’s impatient walk down the aisle

and mother’s to her first job

left for a trophy wife


the 54th Massachusetts proudly

lead by Colonel Robert Shaw


Forrester’s hooded riders


Lincoln’s last train draped in black

Kennedy’s after


child escorted to the bus for the first day school

and defeated father’s shuffle toward the soup kitchen


the Grand Army on the march

and the Bonus Army routed by MacArthur


I’ve seen them all pass

but few stop and plead entry

the gates tarnished for eons

hinges rusty

plating nearly gone




Song of myself #18  - Teamster


18.  The young fellow drives the express-wagon


a weight of Beecher’s Bibles

hid under mercantile merchandise


a load of barbed wire

destined for a range war


calico for the housewife

gingham for the schoolmarm

taffeta for Storyville


I’m eager to deliver each consignment –

the carpenter’s daughter will not wait for me

the spinning-girl will accept another

the farmer will not be on the road long


the graybeard who ogled me this morning

will be impatient

to tell me that he loves me


before his pen dries




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