Transparent Words - Poetry



Gary Blankenship


Song of Myself #19 - Racer

Song of Myself #20 - Turkey Shoot



Song of Myself # 19 – Racer


 19.  The half-breed straps on his light boots to compete in the race,


on the outside of each soft boot

a yellow rose entwined

with pink dogwood


one for my mother beyond the Brazo

the other for my father from Tennessee’s hills


down the inside of the left

beaded lighting strikes the sole

for there’s another race to win


in this grubby backwater

on the far side of the Mo

the village bully sure

he’s faster than me or my boots


I’ve no doubt I’ll win

trouble is they won’t honor the wager

and I’ll be lucky to escape

shirt, hair or beaded boots intact


unless Tom’s timely with the wagon

cutting it too close

in Cairo and Dutchtown


and someday that race

won’t be won




Song of Myself #20 – Turkey Shoot


20a.  The western turkey-shooting draws old and young


The youngest children dart through the crowd

in an endless game of ‘you’re it, am not”

The not-quite-old-enough boys stand behind the shooters

eyes on the rifles unsure of how to ask

can we touch

can we hold

can we look through the sight?


Wives and daughters prepare the table amid

speculation of who is best for Mary



who’s a lay-a-back

who’s a bully-boy

who’s too shiftless to support a family

hold a wife


Around the edges,

grifters and con artists

card sharks


and drummers wait

to separate the winners

from their winnings


And Dr Perkins sells

his patented medicinal

guaranteed to cure all ills

and improve vision


He does a booming business




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