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I'm From Stephenville, Texas
Dairy farmer for the world,
Trout fisher, hay stacker
Cowboys with heavily starched Wrangler jeans and dirt caked boots,
Hot, humid, jagged,
City of southern hospitality.
They tell me you’re unknown and I believed them,
For I have seen you erased from maps,
And forgotten in the minds of the regular man.
They tell me you are too risky
And I see their thoughts to be true.
I have seen the family sit terrified in the tornado shelter,
With their small children,
Waiting for the storm to die down.
I turn to those who stick up their mainstream noses at my city,
And I too stick up my nose and say:
Show me another city where the elderly couple ambles through the park,
Just after the Texas sun dipped below the horizon.
Where the moon imprints its shape in the night sky,
Like the black and white colors of its border collies,
Against the rusted-red fur coats of the cattle behind them,
Rustic, like the words of an old Johnny Cash,
Blowing over the airwaves and into the ears,
Of the worn-out cowboy sitting on the bed of his brother’s pickup truck.
And drinking again.
Under the dust left in the trail of the galloping horses,
Speeding with its hooves thumping on the soft dirt,
Is the family fishing for rainbow trout in the hot summer air,
The kids riding in the backs of their parent’s ATVs.
The dairy farmer,
The trout fisher,
The hay stacker wearing
heavily starched Wrangler jeans.