In the late 90s, after my second marriage had collapsed, I sat and wrote out a set of letter/poems to my various exes, which examined aspects of the relationship; where it went bad and what was good. Here's one.
The Last of the Polish Mohicans Polka
“If I was a trapper I would pay a thousand peltsYou were last of the Polish Mohicans,
just to sleep with Pocohontas and find out how she felt.”
standing barefoot in the swirling eddies of
Albuquerque on the Vistula, can of Miller in your hand.
A Connecticut Yankee,
Dart-tart, Cocktail Jockey,
Downy delta, sugar tit,
Leather-jacketed goddess of love!
You jerked me up down off on
and six ways from Sunday
my rebound baby brown-eyes
left my wife for parts unknown
to tan your tawny pelt
no-tell motel so discrete
‘cause your Ma is shittin’ kittens
“keep that man out of my house!”
Backseat mesa boogie
jammin’ gears to get to work late.
Autumn’s sins and winter winds
we keep each other warm.
In Spring you up and dumped me
for some yellow-headed coke boy
‘cause you said you “needed more space”
to “sow your wild oats in” so you
left me twistin’ in the wind
spinnin’ fast towards a fumbuck
and I don’t know why you swayed
me back then like you did, kid.
Nearly fifteen years from them days
gets real hazy thinking ‘bout you
and what the thrill was then but
I guess like all the others
I can’t help but sit and wonder
what it would o’ been like Zhay-Zheets
to be eighty-two and with you
ridin’ shotgun as my bride.
A few years back, I was taking a poetry-writing class at UNM. It was late winter -- a crisp day -- and I was driving through town. The clouds had moved in and were dropping. It reminded me of that time and I pulled over and knocked this one out.
It was a day like this,
with skies of cold grey felt
and flurries settling on the city,
that you, in your thigh-high boots
and poured-into jeans,
and me, in my alpaca overcoat
and snappy black fedora,
called in to work,
pleading some bullshit excuse.
Me and my Pride & Joy
roared down from the heights
in a rumbling El Camino
with throaty mufflers
and radio cranked for Stevie Ray Vaughan.
We whiled away the hours
at a little out of the way place,
enjoying its warmth.
Drinking pitchers of Stroh’s.
Eating bowls of green chilé
spooned into flaky sopaipillas.
Feeding endless quarters
into the jukebox, playing Sea of Love.
Throwing game after game of darts
on that windowless afternoon.
Time slowed as I watched you take aim.
Your long brown hair
flowing like a river to your waist.
The beauty of your concentration
as you aimed and let loose, easily
hitting your needed 19 in a game of 301.
I believed, in that moment,
that we were happier
than we’d ever been before.
And sadly, I knew, happier
Than we ever would be.
©2007 Rick Raab-Faber
Murdoch, the cigarette-munchin' pup