Treasure Island

Midnights Voice

(November 3,1950 / Selma, Alabama)

Forty Years


I was three, no bigger than a west Texas tumble weed,
just three.
My mother hung the wash out on the line
and wiped the sweat off her brow
with her hand.
An hour later the clothes were frozen.
Blue norther...you can see them coming
a hundred miles away.
Wichita Falls, Texas on the Wichita River.

Moses sat on the mountain
gazing at the promised land.
But it was out of his hands now.
Leaning on his staff that ate the Pharohs two snakes.
...sssssssssssilently a single tear
falls to the ground.

No fence could hold me...I was over or under
in seconds.
A terror at three...run away.
The Police knew me by first name...
just three.
The plains of north Texas, jackrabbits, coyotes,
rattlesnakes and all... were home.

Forty years of desert
Till the last man, woman, and child
of Egyptian connection had died
...was such a sacrifice...
Moses was the last to fall
on a mountain called no consequense

Submitted: Monday, March 04, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, March 05, 2013

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  • Shahzia Batool (4/12/2013 1:50:00 AM)

    Of course it looks difficult to read the Deep-structure of the poet's mind, and that too without any help of Poet's notes, but the other things that strike the reader can be discussed: the first line: I was three, no bigger than a west Texas tumble weed, ... gives a clear idea of comparison...; on one hand, the reference to the mother and Wichita Falls, Texas on the Wichita River...on the other, Moses with his staff, the promised land, pharoah, ....i can't say anything for sure but the touch of symbolism is there which is found usually in transcendentalists' works... (Report) Reply

  • Diane Hine (3/6/2013 6:08:00 AM)

    Stanzas 1 and 3 seem to go together and stanzas 2and 4 - did you feel exiled for forty years? Thanks, I know what a 'blue norther' is now - incredible phenomenon! (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (3/6/2013 5:07:00 AM)

    Don't quite understand it Thomas - not sure of the point you wish to make (never was much good at understanding cryptic writes) but a fascinating read nevertheless. (Report) Reply

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