Back to Texas - Cover

Back to Texas

by Jerome Norris

Copyright© 2010 by Jerome Norris

Poem Story: This is a condensed life story, in verse, of a native Texan who gets around a bit.

Tags: Humor  

Now, I ain't no spring chicken; heaven knows, I been around.
Ain't never crossed no ocean, but I doubt that there's a town
that I have missed, in fifty years of runnin' to and fro
from the Yukon down to Yucatan; Key West to Idaho.

Of all the places I have seen, from childhood to t'day,
Ain't none as fine as Texas, boy -- I don't care what you say!
The Lone Star State's the place where I was born and partly raised;
I knew that I'd come back when it come time to mend my ways.

For two years, I hauled livestock: Omaha to Calgary.
Took up with this Alberta gal who was mighty good to me.
But she was lookin' to get hitched; I was lookin' to get laid.
We did things my way, for awhile, but I knew if I stayed

she'd tie me up and pin me down and never let me go,
so I just up and left her, and took off for Mexico.
'Got drunk one night in Vera Cruz and was barkin' at the moon;
the Federales chased me south; I wound up in Cancun.

I liked Ol' Mexico just fine, but I had no cash on hand.
There weren't no jobs for Gringos: Time to cross the Rio Grande.
I hitchhiked north to Brownsville, then on up to San Antone.
(My sister's husband, Harold, had agreed to float a loan.)

I guess I should 'a stayed there, and maybe found some work,
but me 'n sis don't get along, and Harold is a jerk.
So I took my borrowed money and went on the road again.
This time I headed north for places I had never been.

I worked a Great Lakes freighter, haulin' ore to Thunder Bay.
The job was hard, the days were long, but I earned union pay.
The ship shut down when winter hit (them lakes was frozen over),
but now I had a nest egg and I thought I was in clover!

I would 'a been, if I'd been smart, but no — I went to Reno,
and pissed away my savings in some second-rate casino.
So I thumbed my way toward Vegas, hope'n I could make some money,
and at last I struck it lucky: I got picked up by this honey!

She was drivin' her own rig -- a Peterbilt, with double trailer!
I climbed into the cab, and she said, "How 'you doin', Sailor?"
Well, I was sweaty, covered with Nevada dirt that night,
but she said, "If I cleaned you up, I bet you'd look all right!"

She parked that big rig in a lot behind The Desert Inn
(Not the one in Vegas -- just some highway house of sin).
"I can't rent a room," said I. "There's no way I could pay."
She said, "Don't worry, Sweetpants, 'cause today's your lucky day!"

It turned out that her name was Lu, and she was pleased to find
that I had driven big rigs once, and so -- a job was mine!
We two took turns behind the wheel of that enormous truck,
And every night, we'd share a motel room, where we would ... cluck

about the cost-per-gallon of that hi-test diesel fuel,
and those freakin' Arab oilmen, who were greedy, mean and cruel.
Well, me 'n Lu were quite a team — we got along all right!
We'd bounce in that big rig all day, and in motel beds all night.

But all good things come to an end, and I am sad to say
that we were no exception, for at last there came a day
when Lu and I discovered our relationship had flaws:
Turns out she'd given me the clap (and I don't mean "applause")!

I'd lost that lovin' feeling; me 'n Lu said our goodbyes.
(By the time I got to Phoenix, there was rash on both my thighs.)
So I wrestled steers 'round Tucson (and girls, when they were willin' --
(but only after Lu's gift had been cured by penicillin.)

Now I'm git'n old and feeble; my carousin' days are through,
so I'm back here in West Texas, 'cause it's like I always knew:
There ain't no place like home! (No truer words was ever spoke.)
And Amarillo's just the place for a broken-down cowpoke.

I plan to settle down here -- in a trailer, I expect,
(I've lined me up a widow with a monthly pension check.)
I ain't got much to offer her, 'cause age has slowed my pace;
but if a backrub's all she needs, she's come to the right place!

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