It isn’t a slow song that gets to me,
but the shuffle of boots across
a sawdust floor, dry as august
weeds, screen door banging against
the frame from time to time,
red dust coating on the chairs.
It’s the way a certain singer’s voice
breaks just there, at the edge of that
single note, and how the steel guitar
falls away from the band to sway
through a slow swing solo.
The beer is just okay. The crowd,
rough as brand new,
But that boy, with the silver band
around the crown of his dark brown hat?
The way his eyes darken as he plays,
and the skin at the nape of my neck
tingles in anticipation? He brings me
back, and back again.
It’s like the shuffle of bare feet on
a wide-plank kitchen floor, the scent of
strong coffee brewing on the frost-bitten
edge of a long autumn morning. It’s like
the sunlight glazing each falling leaf
against the backdrop of a cedar forest,
so the trees seem to be raining fire.
Yeah. It’s like that.
(c) 2017, by Hannah Six
Photo: Charles C Pierce, Inside the Yellow Aster Saloon, Randsburg, California, ca.1900