Swaying to the band at the bar on Friday night…

You are a hammer, you are nails
spare change piled up on the nightstand
I am half drunk water glasses on the coffee table top

You are snap shirts over t-shirts
long hair tucked under your felt hat
I am stories scratched on napkins and all the things that I forgot

All the things that I forgot

I am seventeen and leaving
Twenty-one and almost gone
You are eighteen with a ring just waiting for the time

To be together on the backroads
Together at the movies
Together buying groceries in the supermarket line

In the supermarket line

For all the things here that aren’t worth taking chances
For all we lost that wasn’t worth the fight
You are strong arms wrapped around my shoulders
And we are swaying to the band at the bar on Friday night
We are swaying to the band at the bar on Friday night

You are six eggs over easy
coffee black and keep it coming
I am wild plums in a bucket in the heat of August air

You are that green Chevy
that we bought when we had nothing
I am all the windows rolled down tangling up my hair

You’re tangling up my hair

And you are generations of people leaving town
I am horses and hay crops in the field
You were not supposed to be the one to stick around
Then again I never really meant to leave here

Then again I never really meant to leave here

For all the things that aren’t worth taking chances
For all we lost that wasn’t worth the fight
You are strong arms wrapped around my shoulders
And we are swaying to the band at the bar on Friday night
We are swaying to the band at the bar on Friday night

You’re two fingers of whiskey. I am a glass of cheap red wine
and we are standing with our bottles in the supermarket line

North Dakota

I see you through cracked windshields
my dark sunglasses and
prairie grasses
trees that cannot hold their leaves
and drifts that will not stay…

dirt roads that carry on that way.

You wave to me
through barbed fence wire
old tractor tires
and houses with nobody home
things that could not be repaired…

things that were left sitting there.

We stretch along horizon lines
and dip below the buttes
your mud stuck to my boots
a piece of you you’re pleased to share
a piece I’m pleased to take from you…

your sky an ever changing hue.

And you see me through rearview mirrors
windows down and open doors
places I have gone before
my headlights through the dust I stir
how quick I am to roam….

you rise up to meet me home.

Wind

The wind is howling at the ranch today and I wanted to capture it. I wanted to record its sound and tell you how it woke me this morning. Help you hear it. But the wind wears an invisible suit and, it turns out, doesn’t really like his picture taken (no matter how I tried).  But despite the suit, you can definitely  tell when he’s in the area ruffling fur, pulling the petals off flowers, teasing the grass and pushing the clouds along. So I settled for photos of the evidence and called him out in a poem.

Hope  you are holding onto your hats today, because nature’s a flirt isn’t it?

Wind

frantic
moving
breathing

air

just air

whipping through my clothing
desperately reaching for skin
pleading
grabbing at my insides
through my ears

a whisper

then a silence

then a howl

sporadic
you make up your mind
to take the glory from the sun

we curse you
as you spill our drinks
turn pages of our open books
rock boats
ruin a warm day

we pull hats down
squint eyes
clench our jaws

as grass clings to roots
branches beg for mercy
and birds become puppets bouncing on strings

I fling open the windows
daring you to come in
to comb through my hair
twist up the rugs

and unsettle the dust