Louise liked Joe right away,
thought everybody should have a friend like that.
Sam said, "More than a friend,
he's my cousin, too,
grew up together.
Spent a lot of summers roam'n the hills
and cricks at Momma's and Pappa's
north of Memphis.
Good years chasin' cows, paintin' fence,
ridin' horses, Joe says all that's gone now.
But he's wrong, got it all inside me.
Like the time Vol was standin'
too close to that cow pie
when the firecracker went off.
Got a few pictures too.
"This one's Momma, she's mad as a hornet.
Pappa'd been pickin up an old widow
and takin' her to church Sundays,
She was jealous,
Been married seventy-three years,
still jealous. To this day I can see Pappa kissin' her
Soft and slow.
look at that twinkle in his right eye,
and that wry smile."
Louise said, "Damn."
It was the middle of September
and Sam was makin' his annual visit to Middle Earth
when Irene rode up.
found 'em in the crick,
She laughed out loud,
and got in with 'em.
Tryin' not to stare,
Joe said, "Cold, ain't it?"
Sam fell in love with Puff.
"Those Baptists just got to be too much,
were taking out a petition,
so I saved them the trouble.
They're so busy being saved,
they don't have time to love anybody."
Sam said, "Just put all that in the bucket,
Irene. You're welcome here."
Joe thought he could fix up a den in the loft;
be just enough room for two.
Puff would like that.
It wasn't long before Louise and Irene
were best friends.
Could talk more in an hour
than Sam and Joe would say in a week.
Compared tattoos, scars, and their men,
stories about all the places they had been,
and even though they never worked at it,
the place was always cleaner when they were around.
Let Sam do all the cooking'.
After awhile, they had those boys
haulin' rocks and dirt to make flower beds
for next Spring.
Spent the last few evenings they could
relaxin' in the crick,
lettin' the water wash away the day,
and wondering what they'd do
if it got any cooler.
Sam loves the water ram.
Brings water from the crick
to the treehouse, a pipe for the sink,
another for the reservoir on top of the stove.
water splashin' all the time
sounds pretty nice.
Figures he owes one to Jack Daniels
for that barrel.
Makes a pretty good bathtub,
Sam just wishes it was big enough for two,
and it doesn't look so bad either,
there in the den.
One time he climbed in with Louise;
Joe laughs to this day about
turnin' the whole thing over
tryin' to pry 'em loose.
Took a week for everything to dry out.
But it was fun snugglin' in big fat towels
under the kerosene lamp
drinkin' nut brown beer and
readin' Tolkien out loud
to the clan.
r vol lindsey
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