Orange Blossom Special
—for my grandfather
he wakes up every morning in the
stillness of the sunrise, just
before the day breaks open and the
sun gives its salute.
and he drinks his cup of coffee—
black and bitter, scalding strong—
all alone in that dark living room
with his old friend Louis L’Amour.
he’s a home-grown red dirt rascal,
ornery wit and easy drawl.
he’s a good ole boy and a navy man;
a husband and a dad.
with the velvet voice of the preacher,
he lives a sermon of compassion.
he loves the great state of Oklahoma,
his dog, his garden, his grandkids.
he is southern charm personified—
John Wayne swagger, winsome grin.
he is rough-edged cowboy romance
whistling soft and sweet and tired.
he’s wild horses, granite mountains;
scent of coffee and cologne.
he is gold-rush eyes and fiddlin’ tunes—
my orange blossom special.
Dime Store Deliverance
I walked to the church ‘cause the martyrs were callin’
in the kerosene grimace of Thursday afternoon
I’d been draggin’ that guilt like a gangrene appendage
I said “we all got problems, so what’s it to you?”
but the rain kept on pourin’ and my faith came at discount
left me clingin’ to second-hand miracles and booze
so I asked him if he’d ever heard of a fresh start
he said “forgiveness is for those with somethin’ to lose”