I have previously posted that I write Poems so I was thinking this morning that a poem is what I should share today I want you all to know though, I am a very simplistic writer at this stage of the game. No innuendos, no hidden meanings, just mostly from my heart. I’m not a fiction writer. My poems and stories are from my experiences and memories. However, this one does need a little bit of a set up.
I mentioned in my first post that there had been a change in my life that had a huge effect on my being. That change was the fact that I had discovered family. Family I didn’t know. I knew there had to be someone out there somewhere but I didn’t know who or where. I live in Washington state and my family is in Oklahoma. I was able to travel there and meet them in 2012. This poem arose from that visit.
Before I went to Oklahoma I had fallen and injured my back. I was having difficulty walking and a cane had become necessary. I had also lost a portion of my eyesight due to cataracts. My general gate those days was quite haphazard but I was managing fairly good.
On one of our outings with my cousin Mik and his wife Kay we stopped for lunch in a little hole in the wall place named Meers, had a delicious meal and as we were leaving Kay and I bought matching cowboy hats with big brims and kind of goofy looking. I had also picked up a happy meal box from my other cousin, Chuck’s, restaurant to take home to the grand kids along with a number of other things. These boxes looked like classic cars and I thought the kids would enjoy them. This particular one looked like a 56 Ford.
Having given you all these little tidbits of information, we can now move on to the poem. But let’s make sure you have combined all these seemingly useless bits together and have the picture I’m trying to portray, fixed in your mind. Hopefully, you have envisioned a middle aged woman in her long peasant skirt, walking precariously along with her cane, wearing a huge, fairly odd-looking cowboy hat. I realize you need to call forth your very playful imagination for this, but do you see me now? Allrighty then folks, you’re ready to go. Please read on and enjoy.
Self portrait of author, water color, ( I think I could do cartoons from what I see here.)
Note the little Horned Toad.
Oh yes, I didn’t mention the Horned Toad. When I was five our family took a vacation making our way in our old green station wagon, of what make I’m not sure, but it didn’t really matter as it had room to haul five children. Luggage went on top in the roof rack and the older boys rode in the back. My two younger brothers and I sat in the back seat, except for when my parents would take pity on me and let me ride up front, in the middle ,between them. We toured the states between Washington and Texas, camping along the way. When we got to Texas, I met my grand parents for the very first time. Well anyway, back to the Horned Toad. While there, we kids captured several Horned Toads and convinced the folks to let us bring them home. Once we were home, Dad built a home for them and we filled it half way with dirt. There they lived for several years until one morning we found the cage tipped over and no Horned Toads to be found anywhere. I haven’t seen another one since.
You’re saying now, “Another bit of disjointed information thrown in here and what are we supposed to do with this.” THIS, is what the poem is about. Now, we’re ready.
You Can’t Take a Horned Toad On An Airplane
You can’t take a horned toad on an airplane
at least that’s what I’ve been told
by my cousin Chuck while driving down the road.
On our way back from Antelope Hills
we stopped at Black Kettle and read of Custer’s fight
then back in the car and headed home
already late for dinner tonight.
All at once there the little critter was running down the road.
I shouted “Chuck, STOP the car let me catch that horny toad.
Chuck laughed at me and exclaimed, “Now that would be a sight.
You and your cane hobbling down the road
trying to catch a toad in flight.
And what if you actually caught him
how would you explain that when boarding your plane?
I don’t think they would accept him
just because you gave him a name.
I think they might give you a hard time
cause they would think you surely insane.
No, there is just now way on this earth
you’d get that horned toad on a plane.”
But myself I think if I told them the story
how I chased him down the road
hollerin’ “Come on back here you darn little horny toad.”
Waiving my cane and hobbling as fast as I could go
until I finally caught up with that critter
and how it only took an hour or so.
Then I’d tell them how I picked him up
and put him in a kids happy meal box,
they would be rolling in the isles laughing
and holding their ribs a lot.
They would all think I was silly and yes, maybe a little insane
number one who in their right mind
would give a horned toad a name
But of course, Steve would have taken a picture
and as a last effort I would show them that
Me with my cane chasing a happy meal toad
and wearing my cowboy hat.
Well, I think that would probably convince them
nothing more would I have to say
I’d be boarding that plane with my little Horned Toad
and headed for home that day.
Written June 11, 2012
and dedicated to my cousin Chuck,
who thankfully doubted my ability to catch the little critter.