Transparent Words - Poetry


Gary Blankenship



Song of Myself #20 - Old Men and Young

Song of Myself #20c - Marksman



Song of Myself #20 – Old Men and Young


20b.  some lean on their rifles, some sit on logs,


The old men talk about

crops and farms and herds

the fish they’ve caught

deer they’ve shot

the price of wheat and corn and pecans,

usury rates and bond interest


the women they’ve known

imagine they’ve known

want to know

will never know


what the women could possibly find to gossip about

what they cooked for the box supper

the cost of weddings




rifle accuracy

the ammunition used

past winners

the candidates for county judge


and when they were through

talking about this and that

the jug passed

they talked about what they had talked about


The young men nudged each other

after a glance toward Mary



and waited



Song of Myself #20 – Marksman


20c.  Out from the crowd steps the marksman and takes his position and levels his piece;


Today should be my day –

not John’s a bit too close to Doc Perkins

not Sam’s a bit too full of himself

not George’s a bit too interested in Jane


Old Jim might win,

but his eyes are weak

and Silas is still usin’

that old piece his grandpa

carried through the Mexican War


Today should be my day,

but my leg is cramped

Jane has promised me her box supper

Silas has a new rifle

John’s sober

Sam’s not braggin’

I’ve a speck in my eye


Today should have been my day

but George shot a perfect score

and I’ll have my supper alone tonight




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