for Isabella Grace at twenty-one months
Because you were sleeping in my arms,
Gene Autry’s “Guns and Guitars” on the radio,
I held you up to this tragic nation.
Because we were riding horses made of rain
We’ll learn by our mistakes and the mistakes of others,
Of ashes, decay & the other thousands of fragile passengers.
Because the fabric of moss seems at one with your face
There’s nothing this poor man can show you.
Everything in the mirror is the same.
Because your fang tooth is coming in
Like a fogy pool of light through the window
And later you might have a rap sheet a mile long.
Because in the beginning you didn’t use toilet paper
Or stomp off naked in red cowgirl boots
To see the first green in the aspen.
1 January 2005
Spoken word version from Trashtalking Country.
Copyright © 2005 by Jim Cohn.