And Angels Will Protect Us, Too
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And Angels Will Protect Us, Too • Posted: Apr 25, 2019 14:03:34Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

I sat with her on her back porch,
     she in stain worn rocker,
     I on milking stool.
She gripped its arms intently,
     rocked and rocked with purpose.
Her weepy darting eyes
     and whiskered chin
     strained forward,
     not to miss a thing.

Her porch faced south,
     the sun rose east.
Beyond the broken fence
     and wind stressed shed
     that mark the end
     of her backyard
lay miles and miles of arid scrub
     where drunken farmhands
     and idled roustabouts
drove banged up pickups,
     with benches bolted
     to their roofs

Upon those benches
     they’d strap themselves,
half empty bottles between their legs,
     guns in both their hands.
Loud banging blaring music streaming
     out their open windows,
     dirt flying from spinning
     balding knobby wheels,
those whooping would-be cowboys
     would scour the scrub
     for boar and deer
     to blast the living
     daylights from.

That old woman knows those cowboys well,
     she’s ridden with them.
Hell, she’s even shot herself a deer or two,
     and once, a scary,
     black and hairy,
     mud-nosed wily boar.

It was her dad who taught her so,
     between the times
     he’d whip her.
Whipped her, whipped,
     and whipped her,
     beyond the time
     she’d cry.

Not a nice man, her dad.
     Whipped her mother, too,
     and both her brothers blue.
Figured only way to get his druthers
     was to beat all others
     ’til they’d bend his way.

Don’t think her dad’s a long dead breed.
     Lots of guns and whips
     and bombs about.
Lots of bruised and battered women, too.
     Not to mention
     bullet ridden blacks,
     caged asylum seekers,
     and blown to pieces
     praying supplicants.

There was a time this woman in her chair
     could have loved
     and been loved, too,
could have given birth,
     caressed and stroked
     and nurtured unto
     kind and caring
     mature adult.
But, those sparks have long since dimmed.

Now she grips her rocking chair,
     rocks in earnest,
and scans horizons for any threat
     of whips
     and guns
     or bombs.

Inside her house upon a dusty shelf
     sit little figurines.
They complement the cross of Jesus
     that hangs above her bed.
Should you expect a shotgun, too,
     you’d be surprised.
     She doesn’t own a one.
There is no whoop left in her.
     There’s only intense
     vigilance and prayer,
that that cross of Jesus, with his sweet angels,
     will keep all guns
     and whips and
     bombs away,
so she can sit and watch
     the bright hot sun
     meander left to right
     o’er all that arid scrub
     for yet another day.

Friday, April 27th, 2018