Talkin’ with a Woman
Reckon why it happens that a feller
gets tongue-tied when time comes to talk
with a woman—about most anything?
Why, I know grown men who can talk a mule
across a slat-suspension bridge, but ya
put those same fellers with some pretty little gal,
they cork up like the Colorado River
after them engineers finished Hoover Dam.
Time was I called on a red-haired woman
in Wyoming, intendin’ to ask her to supper.
This woman was so much a looker, she’d stop
your teeth from chatterin’ while you
were standin’ in a full-out blizzard wearin’
nothin’ but your hat, long johns, and boots.
Well. I got through the "Hello. How are ya?" part.
Then, my tongue tied itself into a royal granny knot,
an’ I just stood there breathin’.
Her green eyes flashed like emeralds in sunlight,
an’ next I remember, I was sayin’, "I do."
Boys, pay close mind to what I’ve said.
An’ if you’ve a notion to ride into the sunset
like them movie cowboys do, learn to talk
with women—without takin’ any long breathes.
Ancient wagon trails,
cut double wide
by a road-grader blade,
wind into mountains
still purple in sunsets.
Dry with summer heat,
the single set of ruts
offered slow but steady progress
for a wagon drawn by horse
or mule, but muddy
propelled by a herd
of three-hundred horses,
thunder up those trails
and pound powdered dirt
into washboards that rattle
loose the silver screw.