Texas Two-Step

By Patricia Lee Lewis

Uncle Blake, red nose, bright hooded eyes,
that funny smell I now know was booze,
I was crazy about you. You can drive
this thing, Sugar, of course you can,

with those long legs of yours. Just git up
on that seat and push the pedals. I need
some help down at the River Corral. Don’t
be a sissy, come on. It was like being

set free: you cussed and drank and played
gin rummy until your head fell over, so
there weren’t rules for me
either. Oh, Uncle Blake, I think you were

my first real love. But it wasn’t you
I loved so much as it was me. When I was with you,
river stones sang, mesquite leaves shone silver
in the hot, yellow sun, and bleating sheep

moved slowly, eyes like amber watching
as we rode on by. And you could dance!
Like a great bear, light and swaying, belly
hopping over your belt buckle, caked boots

remembering the day’s work: you’d grab me
and away we’d jump to a Texas two-step. It’s a long time
since you died. These days, I have to remind myself
to watch light dawn on folded mountains

and not shade myself. But today, the sudden
thought of you, cussing, teasing, fills my belly like a sun;
and in its heat I toss my head and stretch
my legs and dance, heart hopping, with the bear.

"flashmemoirpllphotobybobmarstall"Reprinted from A Kind of Yellow, Patchwork Press. Patricia Lee Lewis offers writing workshops at Patchwork Farm Retreat, Westhampton MA, and writing & yoga retreats internationally. MFA in Creative Writing, Vermont College of Fine Arts; BA, Smith College, PBK. Founding member, Straw Dog Writers Guild. Award-winning poet. Books: A Kind of Yellow, and High Lonesome. Patricia’s photo by Bob Marstall.


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