Monday, December 30, 2019

YOKEL ( 12 ) ~


In well over twenty-five years living

In the house now and the

Cabin before that I can’t recall

More than five visitors coming

To the door after dark — some

Didn’t quite make it to the door —

Like the summer night we heard

A car go up river by our cabin late

When hardly no one ever passed

And I suddenly heard the vehicle

Stop just beyond our reach which

Seemed strange so I listened

Carefully by the screen window

Of the back room and could just

Hear someone climb over the long

Stone wall I built over some years

And now pass through the low

Branch pines, snapping sticks but

Not wanting to and I waited for the

Bugger to pass by my stand in the

Dark room and when he did —

Sensing him better than I could see —

I asked,  So what do you want?

And the figure startled and hurled

The stone wall any which way

No matter the scratch of trees

Which must have excited me

Because I grabbed my axe and

Climbed the ladder to the second

Floor and stepped out onto a flat

Porch roof I liked to take my morning

Leak from, seeing the river, and

Cried out into the darkness to

Come out, come out,

Wherever you are!

Visitors 2

Another time — and I have to

Laugh — was when Redneck

Came to the cabin after dark

Looking for a lost young hunter

The first day of deer season and

Up over the border from his state

Which was only two miles from our

Door but more often than not a

Hunter strayed and Redneck

Had a hunch this youngster

Might have, standing a little

Funny looking to us in his chief

Of police uniform and holster

Rather than his mill clothes we

Knew him by and being a powerful

Man he had swung the cabin

Door wide when walking in

Which just about hid the fresh

Crop of marijuana leaves that

Had been brought by the day

Before from a friend who asked 

For a place to dry his harvest

And with casual thought I said

Just hang it there not having

Ever seen marijuana or even

Giving a thought to what it was

Visitors 3

Was it the same year as

Redneck or another hunting

Season when a rabbit hunter

Banged hard on the cabin asking

About someone else lost? It may

Have been a week later, and the

Guy looked like a cop and said

He knew Redneck and it was

Just past dark but my friend had

Already been back when he said

He would and bundled away his

Precious pot plants so there was

Nothing to fuss over except maybe

To get a look at Sweetheart who

Was young and long blonde and

Hidden out in these woods with me

Visitors 4

We watched a movie once and

Relished it so much we didn’t

Pay any attention to the someones

Coming to the door late at night and

Stumbling about trying to knock on

Every door of this old farmhouse

Including the no nothing woodshed

And we could listen to it all because

We turned the sound of the movie off until

They left and the headlights dimmed away

Visitors 5

Last but not least were farm

Neighbors — father and older son

And maybe the farmer was drunk

Because I knew he didn’t have the

Nerve to come and ask what he asked

Without being drunk or with the bruiser son

But I played their game of wondering if I

Had tools to sell and kept them with me

Out in the cold under the stars and nowhere

Near inside since a younger son had the

Reputation for breaking into homes so I

Kept it safe by my talking of the old ways

And days with the farmer which about

Lulled him into a happiness of a past and

Remembrance and that congeniality

Between us which certainly bored the

Shit out of his son

Bob Arnold