Thursday, April 24, 2014
It was north of Chandler 1939,
My granddad with the blue killer eyes
Hughie Earp reading by kerosene lamp light
A shoot'em-up dime-store western,
Much to the surprise of the brown-
Eyed farm lad come courting,
Later to be my father
And recall to me that scene
Glimpsed through an opening door,
And even then he not fooled by such
Display of weakness for the word
In this known hardshod
Horse trader who still had
The first nickel he'd ever made,
This pale-eyed reader
Rocklike in washed out overalls
Whose livestock had a new windmill
While Arly carried water
Up the hill and longed for town.
In the photo I have of them, made
From a discarded negative after Grandpa died,
Hughie looks straight into the lens,
Arly wears a black church-going hat,
Her gaze gone out grimly away from his.
Arly daily carried the water
For the kitchen and table and bath
Up a hundred-yard slope
Of red-clay rocky Lincoln County hill
Silently by hand.
With whoops and chants
She gathered up her skirts
And showed us how the Sac and Fox danced.
Taken from "Oklahoma Elegies, Chronicles and Family History"
by Wayne Pounds