H. Edgar Hix: Four Poems

Smelling Smoke

Breezes, like sweet-faced children
with horns in their hair,
twist the thin daggers of smoke
into the gut of the sky.

A few ashes of wheat are turned
by the breeze’s quiet laughter
of good children
who only occasionally play with fire.

Mr. Lewis, black, sweaty,
and crisp as his field, walks aimlessly
over and over his glory, his goal,
his wheat.

Last winter, he was just Gene,
fresh out of high school,
with a pretty bride and
500 acres of mortgaged wheat land.

Now, he’s Mr. Lewis, walking his nightmare,
his cloudy face fighting his rain.
“At least you’re not ruined, Mr. Lewis,” someone said.
“You’ve got your job and your insurance.”

There is no pride in insurance money.
Nothing grown golden.
Only children wouldn’t discount the ashes from the check.
Sweet-faced children.

**

Moths

Moths are like pretty girls:
Darting in the darkness,
such beautiful flight;
Tangled in my hair,
irritation and destruction.

**

Scissortails In His Dreams

He has scissortails in his dreams.
Fiery scissortails perched on solid ice barbed wire.
Scissortails that catch 747s instead of flies.
Scissortails with moon eyes and solar feet.

He has Oklahoma in his hat’s sweatband.
Dust and glaring sun. Elm trees.
Gravel roads. Forget Tulsa; dream
red farm ponds with bullfrogs big as pickups.

He remembers when hay was in bales,
not rolled up like new sod.
His sweat glands remember dusty, prickly barns.

He has scissortails in his dreams.
Scissortails on fences near huge barns.
Red barns, no longer faded to pink. .

**

Why I Don’t Like Family Pictures

They are so invasive on memories.
They demand the correct hair color
and record the mess around the remembered face.
They are illusions of ink on paper
while memories are realities slowly leaving the brain.

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