Monday, October 4, 2010

*Poem: "Trigger at Auction"*

Trigger at Auction

                      "When my time comes, just skin me and put me up there on Trigger, just as though nothing had ever happened." -Roy Rogers

Handsome as my grandfather,
Roy Rogers, the original Chinese cowboy,
had his best horse stuffed in 1965,
the year that Trigger died,
for all to see, Golden Palomino,
because he couldn't bear the thought
of Time galloping past them.
Finally, Time pulls ahead,
and the museum in Branson, MO
closes, all the little buckaroos
gone to Florida compounds, 
assisted living facilities, none
stuffed, none really preserved
for the ages. Along with the
silver six-shooter, the fringy shirts,
Trigger, what's left of Trigger,
ends up on the auction block.
The winning bidder is a TV station
in Omaha, intentions to follow.
Where my father grew up, in
rural Long Island, before pavement,
when the best way to get there was
by train, truck or horseback, my
Chinese grandfather had a
corral full of horses, and as each
one went on to that Great Pasture,
they would dig tremendous holes
here and there, and bury the bodies,
hide, bones and all, deep enough
to keep the raccoons away.
Is there a separate museum where
Trigger's bones are safe, or
someplace where they're honored,
at ease, carefully arranged in
the sign of the Double R?
Or were they buried, along with
his sins, his temporary flesh?
Skinned like a buffalo, like
a young hunter's squirrel,
are the bones of Trigger
planted deep enough to beget
a fresh crop of sidekicks,
ready for the next new Roy?
Is the Golden West ready?
Or should we, as Roy suggested,
go on pretending nothing
ever happened?

CAR  7/20/10

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