Western Swing

If it takes a western swing, well, that’s okay. Sometimes
that old crooked road goes where you’d least expect.

There’s a dance they do, where you move your hip like this,
and you move your head like that, until you’re high
on the movement. I don’t remember what they call it,
but for one night only it was simply dancing.
You could teach it to just about anyone, if you wanted.

There’s grass they grow that reaches shoulder-height,
where you can get lost for a while, or forever, depending.
If you’re smart and you’ve got a piece of plywood
you can pretend to be an alien, signalling home,
or if you’re not, you can just make a crooked road.

There’s this way of talking that suggests, well,
the rain’s coming, and that’s okay. That’s fall for you.
The river’s going to flood, and that’s okay,
that’s what we keep the sandbags for.
It’s going to soak everything, and that’s okay,
as long as we keep a hand-dryer in the attic.

There’s a Friday night meeting with musicians
and the people who fancy themselves musicians,
and the people who fancy musicians.
An older fellow might bring his banjo, slip on the picks
and go to town. If you’re smart you’ll watch
the fabulous muscles, their well-worn patterns.

There’s a bottle somewhere, with your name on it,
and a front porch. Rock yourself to sleep.
The cold morning wind will wake you up.
Their house will still be standing, untouched.
You can take a western swig. It’s all okay:
All the crooked roads will work out straight.