Autumn Sunday


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Papaw's Dance

XIT with my Papaw

When my Papaw died,
He left behind his genuine snakeskin boots—
The ones he wore teaching me to jitterbug at the XIT rodeo.
I remember the evening like it was yesterday--
Sweltering August panhandle heat, beading my brow in sweat,
Dusting my crisp white top with bits of dry, blown sand.

When we arrived at the dance hall,
The lights diffused pink, yellow and white streams above me
As my grandfather’s rough hands waltzed me around the floor.
I breathed in the dense fumes of his warm, stale tobacco breathe;
his newly laundered shirt scratching my bare arms as we moved—
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1,2,3, 1,2,3.1
I fumbled over my feet-- clumsy in chunky white heels,
And dropped my head in embarrassment.
He laughed, then, like popcorn—slow rumble at first,
And then explosive, directing my gaze up.
Then Papaw’s hands, rough to touch, yet steady and gentle,
Lead my wandering feet back into step again.


  1. You are an incredible writer! What a stunning portrayal. They say that a photo is worth a thousand words, but these memories paint a picture that no photo could capture. Xx Ruth

  2. Amazing, amazing, amazing. It makes it all the more rich if you knew him like we did. You had a special relationship with him. Thank you for that.

  3. I love this. It is beautiful. I miss you for so many reasons! I hope you are doing well!

  4. Good work Coach N Law. I enjoyed it. Keep writing.