one trick pony

y’gotta feel sorry

sad for these guys

I walk up to the bar

& as Joe wanders down

I point to the guy standing there

him first I say with a nod

so Joe walks over takes the order

what did you say? says the fella harsh

giving me the hard eye

I guess he didn’t like my look

I said I say loud

I thought you were here first

looking him straight in the eye

half turned legs easy spread

hands open gesture

ready to throw if need be

ok he says soft

caught out

this one trick pony

thinking I would back down

mumble some half ass words

when we both know

he was hoping to provoke

be the trouble man

this one trick pony needing something

he’d now have to go elsewhere

to get

how I remember these things

there was a worn carpet laid on bare boards

holding only the centre of the room

two chairs either side of the open fire

a sofa & a high table we sometimes ate at

curtained windows either end

that in winter had frost on the inside

my little room had cowboys on the paper

thick rough blankets & in winter coats piled on too

it is the biting cold I remember most

cold feet on cold floors cold coming in

cold going out cold weather cold people

cruel carers who took the money & ran

& these would steal my few toys for their kids

nothing stayed nothing stuck mother run away

father always absent a ghost figure tired pale

& I never knew from one day to next

would any of these be there when I got home

within the walls of this cold place of no food

always gut hungry for anything going

& now when they say you ever coming home?

I tell them I find the north too cold prefer the south

& they try to tell me I’m a too sensitive soul

but we know better I’m a soul with strong memories

remembers the cold remembers how it lingers on

tenderfoot

Tenderfoot in tinder territory

the word has real meaning

for those who trod the trails

felt the stones deep

into the soles of pain

& now we drive the desert

a journey that would take a week

completed in easy hours

& we cannot perceive it

see the terrain the same

as harsh as it really is

with the air con on low

bottled water always ready

music thumping the speakers

our soft shoes pumping pedals

we will never know

the transition from tenderfoot

to old wizened hand

seasoned traveler in desert lands