Monday, August 25, 2014

Just Five

What an odd assortment of shrines you've knelt before in your small, brief span.
First it was water. Why, that first year I didn't dare let you in the bathroom or near a hydrant alone.
And when it rained! In spite of locks and chains you got out and were as hard to catch as a small, wet eel.
Then at two you discovered dogs. So much as let you out the door and all the dogs in all the land collected at your heels.
At three you became an Indian fighter. Me, the chairs, the window shades, the divan still bear scars of that assault.
At four you joined the G-men. Never satisfied with less than best Mr. Hoover became your all-consuming hero.
What a devout and earnest disciple you can be-but, then, when some new cause claims your heart, what a complete and cruel deserter.
So now it's cowboys, Autry and Rogers: Boot heels clack through the house, a broom-stick Champ upsets the chairs, the lamps.
Doors slam, pistol shots disturb the neighbors, rip through the startled air, as you chase outlaws galore.
Then when tired, as now, you turn the dial to a hillbilly band and in high treble join "She's Comin' Round the Mountain"
Beating time on a broken-string guitar as big as you, tapping one high heel as you've seen the real ones do.
Such a funny, earnest picture sitting there; big hat pushed back, red hair in disarray, a dozen freckles across your nose;
Battle-scarred dungarees, run-over heels, turned-up toes, kerchief of yellow, shirt of blue-a miniature Spencer Tracy gone buckaroo.


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