Moon Dust and Patriotism
By John Morelock
A collection of loosely connected poems, inspired by Americana.
When the leaves fell, so did apples.
We started wars, granny smiths as ammo,
past a field of dandelions and holes that sprain
ankles, to Southern Red Oaks and a rusted Frigidaire.
Once, I found half a dozen hanging vines swung from one
to attack the bad guys, but my lifeline snapped and I crashed
onto a glass bottle, turning it back to sand. They pelted me
until each apple left a bruise then walked to their chicken dinners
and painted homes.
How to Build a Fire
When the rain stopped,
we tried for hours to light
that pile of soaked wood.
I carved dry shavings
from fallen trees, you tried
to get your brother to bring
us a lighter. It wasn’t until
I was ready to give up
that you pulled dry underwear
from your bag, and damn if your
drawers didn’t burn. If only
you hadn’t missed a four foot
gar, then we wouldn’t had settled
for protein bars and damp Fritos.
I don’t know, maybe we weren’t survivalists,
but didn’t we feel like Bear Grylls
and Steve Irwin when we killed that
moccasin with a stick just to drag a
half-sunken canoe across the lake?
Mention Saturn V and I imagine
a murmuration of a hundred ninety
million Clydesdales jerking a three
man chariot to the Mare Tranquilitus
as though Budweiser’s sales
depended on it. Growing up on a bicycle
and James Stewart taught me I could do
anything. That I can lasso some space stallions
home again, surely tired of surviving on
moon dust and patriotism, surely missing
Missouri apple trees.
I want To Drink from the Alamo
Wielding a stick and painter’s
bucket, I stared at beds of rocks
for crawdads. The trick is to place
the bucket behind their tails and to
drive the crustacean back like riverbed cattle.
Between bouts with mountain lions,
I’m sure Davy caught them with his open
handing, grabbing the claws. I imagine
that the crawdads that don’t get eaten live
forever and that I caught the ones he missed.
They say Davy died at the Alamo, but I think
he found the fountain of youth there. While
mudbugs are born immortal, men have to find
eternal life at the end of a Mexican rifle.
image source: pixabay.com
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