Monday, October 21, 2019

YOKEL ( 2 ) ~

How Wars Begin

What he

Calls a


I call




There is a certain skill to making dumps

But most are done where it is best to throw

Things out of the way and hereabouts that

Almost always occurs in old cellar holes and

If you don’t have one the natives tend to toss

Over the bank down to the river. Not exactly

Into the river, more in the crap of brush and

Small trees on the way to the river but stuff

Ends up where we swim anyway. All it takes

Is a good Spring flood and by July you’re

Stepping around planks with spikes, tire

Rims, an old car door. If the river were

Powerful enough it would probably scoop

Up the uncountable junk vehicles at one

Native’s place and send them down to the

Next town who are presently up in arms

That their drinking water is ruined for

10,000 homes on account of our one

Notorious junkyard on the road. But this

River is a mere thread on the map. Most

Times you can wade across its width up

To your waist and keep hiking. Invisibly,

Oils and gas and septic leach into its

Long hair and it’s been this way for years.

Imagine the hair on your own head.

Now go to town officials who say

Their hands are tied. Then talk to Native

Who says he’s doing the best he can.

I remember when the junked field was

Planted for potatoes and you could stand

On one end and think you were seeing the

Milky Way at the far end of the sky. 

Back then Native hunted with his father but

Was taught none of the care for farming or

Just the earth. He does what he knows in

Backcountry autobody and mechanics and

Teaches his own boys the same. You can’t

Expect Native to be like all the newcomers.

They all love him when the snow is deep and

He straps on his plow. Or sands their drive.

He has a dump for all the world to see.


Where there are tall maples and oaks

There once was a barn

Nothing left where it was

But sunshine


We really used to like it on this road

Around Christmas time when Sweetheart

Would have the cook stove fired up all day

And in the spirit decide to make Christmas

Cookies for all the neighbors. Back then it

Was a few natives and before the newcomers

Became full-fledged. We spent all day rolling

Out the dough, cutting out figures for the flat

Sheet and when just right sprinkled with green

And red. We then put a dozen or so into a box

And dropped them off. Most folks knew how

To react with that social charm and within

A day or so we got back something like a tree

Ornament or a card but really it was all about

Doing it out of the blue for holiday sake. But

I won’t ever forget one Native family’s reaction

After the initial surprise and attention, was to

Bring us down, special delivery in the power

Wagon and all the family squished in the cab,

A bag of bite-size Mr. Goodbar and Nestlé Crunch.

Bob Arnold