This is a poetic eulogy to the outlaw Bonnie Parker.
Including here all the known poems associated with Bonnie,
some her own compositions and some those that she chose of others, all here set in context, to tell Bonnie's story through poetry.
A Eulogy To Bonnie Parker
Everyone has their own story
Where they were born
How their childhood they did bide
How they lived thrived and died
This is the story of Bonnie, of Bonnie and Clyde
In the little country town of Rowena
A sleepy mostly Czech-German place
Runnels County, Texas State
October the First of Nineteen-Ten
Bonnie Parker her first breaths did pace
Bonnie grew, lively and wild
Oh was she such a precocious child
''He's A Devil In His Own Home Town''
Sang the cute little Baptist Sunday-School girl
That sure wasn't the hymn they'd assigned her to sing and twirl
Proudly mounting the stage
Resplendent in starched bows and ruffles
Singing in a singularly clear and piercing treble
Bonnie had created a sensation, people cocked their eyes
No other song did cause that ripple of surprise
'Twas with the Baptist Church of Rowena
That Bonnie's family's religious affiliation stood
Outside of church activities
Socials, box suppers, and the like
The family had very little social life
Living by the Colorado River
The average home with the average conveniences
Across from the tracks of the Santa Fae
Bonnie would often wave to the Engineer
And send her little dreams on their way
Bonnie's playful uncle Floyd Parker came to visit
Amused himself during the short while he did stay
Teaching little Bonnie to swear at her daddy, his brother Charles
Bonnie, swearing, looked and sounded so hilariously funny
Emma had to hairbrush it out of her after he went away
Christmas 1914 had just been and passed
Midnight mass way past bedtime did last
Opening the presents had been such a blast
Bonnie's home, decked out with Christmas joy
Scattered around was many a new toy
On the morning of the Old Year
Bonnie's Daddy left for his bricklaying work
Hugged Bonnie on the way out
Promised when he got back that evening
They'd all have New Year's Eve cheer
That afternoon someone hurried up to the house
Bonnie cheerfully ran to the door with her Mama
To see who their New Years Eve visitor was
But he didn't seem happy, had rather a shocked face
Seemed he'd been travelling at a fast pace
Said to her Mama he'd come to tell her about Charles
That he wasn't coming home
That he'd had an accident at work
Slipped on a scaffold, broke his neck and died
Emma fainted, then came to, shook and cried
Never had Bonnie seen her Mama
In a devastated state like this before
Panicked, Bonnie grabbed her and hugged her
Clung to her tightly, afraid to let go
Fear of losing her Mama too, now played on her mind so
With that, their little family's whole world had crashed in a flash
Emma frantically tried to think of what to do
Yet to not make decisions that were rash
Stunned and heartbroken, surrounded by Christmas cheer
Then came the sound of church bells ringing in the New Year
So it was thus, that Emma was widowed
A ''housewife'' left with no immediate way to provide
Packing up Bonnie, Billie and Hubert from their rented home
She boarded a train at Rowena, bound for Dallas
Heading to her parents, West Dallas country side
There at Frank and Mary Krause's rented farmstead house
North side of Eagle Ford Road 'tween Harris and King
Rural Mail Route-Six, Box One-Seven-Nine
Justice Precinct-Seven, West Dallas, Texas
That's where the Parker's now would be
Frank and Mary had themselves moved here from Rowena
Just about five years before
That sleepy little farming town with the cotton gin
Had turned into a boom town with too much bustle
And they'd grown sick of all the hustle
So they'd come and first rented a house on the Fish Trap Road
Got to know the local community elder Emanuel Santerre
And soon rented the spare house on a farmstead
A short distance away,3 west of Harris, on the Eagle Ford Road
In the other house lived Emanuel Santerre's daughter Maud
Along with Frank and Mary had come
Three sons and two daughters
Of their six children all told
Only Emma with her husband Charles had stayed behind
Now Emma with her children rejoined the Krause family fold
The area was unincorporated, being outside of Dallas City limits
Was pretty basic unregulated and wild
No electricity, sewers or town water supply
Making do with wells outhouses and oil lamps
The locals here lived very rural farmhouse style
The Texas Portland Cement Company's ''Cement City'' housing
Had given the nearby land owners a bright idea
To build cheap houses on their land to rent
With no controls or permits enforced or required
Why not cash in on workers housing needs right here
Then Texas Cement decided to build their workers kids a school Down the hill, across the railway tracks, on the Eagle Ford Road
Self contained with it's own electrical generator
Water tank way up high for indoor plumbing pressure supply
And outhouse bank with proper septic pit right by
They called it ''Cement City School''
Let all the local area kids enroll too, for a modest fee
First enrolled all the grades of elementary and middle school
Then got accredited to also teach the high school grades
So proudly restyled the school as ''Cement City High''
Right beside the school soon blossomed a crop of rental houses
From Harry Ave round an access way they called ''Iola Crescent''
Across the road a ''house camp'' sprang up called ''King's Row''
Right beside the Krause's and Noble's original farmstead plot
They all used the farmstead's mail box number ''one-seven-nine''
So it was there the Krause family had settled
The rent for a house was cheap, around ten dollars a month
What with having to live next to that noisy Vilbig gravel pit
Emma's sister Lillie had stayed at the Fish Trap Road house
While brothers Wylie and John rented houses on ''King's Row''
Emma's mother Mary told her to come to with them stay
Mary was an orphan, couldn't read or write, had little school
Had met and married her lone German immigrant husband Frank
Alone in the world, they'd always kept their children close
So was quick to offer Emma her house, their resources to pool
Living in a spacious wooden narrow-weatherboard clad house
A large garden, egg laying hens, pigs and a milking cow
Mary had thought Emma's stay would be only temporary
Expecting her beautiful young daughter to soon remarry
And move out, hopefully into one of the many houses close by
But to remarry Emma was not keen
With little rights for women, her new freedom she did cherish
Abusive and harsh husbands did everywhere abound
Not wanting to risk giving herself and her three children
Into the hands and whims of a man potentially mean or unsound
Instead, various unskilled laboring jobs she did nail
All paying the socially mandated low women's pay scale
For women's jobs were considered ''extra'' and paid ''pin money''
Struggling for her children and herself to provide
There was little money left over for Emma to set aside
Fast pal's Bonnie did make, with Lillie's daughter she found there
Inseparable from first sight, they made the perfect pair
Turning somersaults and cartwheels
Bonnie and Dutchie, between their chores
Were generally full of mischief and ''raising hair''
They ''skinned the cat'' on barn rafters twenty feet high
Serenaded at dusk off the top of the pig pen with ''operatic airs''
Burned down their feed sack wigwam cooking ''hot'' potatoes
Discovered Grandpa's green wine stash in the hay
Bonnie ''drunk as a skunk'' almost passed away
The households spotted Dutchie racing like a ''bat out of hell''
Frantically priming the pump of their shared water well
Then running back and forth from well into barn carrying a pail
They arrived to see her splashing water on a passed out Bonnie
Bonnie's lips blue as if painted with blueing were a shocking tell
Bonnie said to those annoyed ''Oh please just let me be
When you see my name in lights
You'll be sorry you talked like that to me''
Herbert 'The Cat' Noble, just a year and a half older than she
Noticed his cute little next door neighbor 'Suicide Sal' Bonnie
Herbert's mother was Emanuel Santerre's daughter Maud
Emanuel would occasionally stop by to visit his daughter
Another daughter Annie also lived close by
Bonnie's grandpa Frank would see him and call him over
For a chat over a glass of Frank's green wine
Surrounded by market gardens and various big industry
Situated right beside Vilbig's large noisy gravel pit
Across the road stood Bilbo's filling station and service shed
To the east in the distance the skyline of downtown Dallas,
Southwards the tall smoking chimneys of Texas and Trinity
In the evenings grandpa would have his supper
Take a sniff of his snuff and pocket his revolver
Then walk off down the side of that wide flat gravel road
To his night-watchman job
At the Oriental Oil Refinery
Grandma was a true old fashioned homemaker
Meticulously running her house
The ruler of her home, just try test her
The master of her pantry, make no mistake
Strict but fair, proper and correct, she'd order make
Bonnie and Dutchie got a reputation
Grandma suspected them on every occasion
Bonnie's angelic little sister Billie was her pet
While a hair brush, slipper and sometimes paddle
Did Bonnie and Dutchie often get
Saturday was family fishing day
Along Harris or Fishtrap roads they'd walk, to the nearby Trinity
Where Bonnie, Billie and Hubert, along with other kids
Would try to catch fish for their families
Bonnie'd whinge ''it's so boring'' and prance around constantly
Sunday was Church and Sunday-School day
There Emma her children took
For them to learn ''The Book''
So they'd grow up good Citizens too
And to socialize as best she knew
They walked the distance cause money was short
Neighbor Bilbo from across the road
Would sometimes stop and shout them a ride in his ''Jitney''
From the dust and dirt of that Eagle Ford pike
The ride was a most welcome respite
Bonnie adored her Mama
Separation anxiety she constantly felt
Picking up after her, after she'd gone to work
Talking to and caressing Emma's clothes
Wishing Emma was still inside of them, still there
Whenever Emma cross with Bonnie got
It made a little ''wound'' in Bonnie's soul
Bonnie would try to make up to her Mama
Wracked with sadness in her heart
Often, silent tears in her eyes would start
Among the neighbor-hood folks
Gossip spread from house to house
That Emma Parker was also a Krause
So they ''pigeon-holed'' the Parker's
As being also ''German'' like the Krause's
Because of that big ''European War''
Germans were popular not
Woodrow Wilson said to suspect them
So people gave them the ''cold shoulder'' a lot
And little Bonnie felt ''out-casted'' somewhat
Then came conscription as the war took it's course
Bonnie's favorite uncle Samuel was called up for service
Like many young boys, he didn't want to go
But the Laws hunted them all down like criminals
Treated them like fugitive prisoners, they felt like on death row
Newspaper writeups poked heartless fun at their misery
At the misfortune of these conscripted innocent young boys
Torn mercilessly from their loved ones and ordinary family lives
Even callously suggesting their mothers just forget them
Consider them sacrificed to a higher cause, ''just say goodbye''
There was so much sorrow in Bonnie's home
As Samuel was forced to go to war
Shocked, teary eyed and angry at the Laws, Bonnie saw him off
He died at Cues in Germany
With the United States Expeditionary Force
Later that same 1919 year grandpa Frank passed away
Emanuel Santerre allowed his burial with the Reunion pioneers
At the old French Colony Cemetery, now ''Fish Trap Cemetery'' Just round at the back of the Vilbig gravel pit
As Bonnie's household prayed through their grief and sorrow
Tempered only by the happy news
That women had finally won the right to vote
With prohibition of alcohol also voted in
A sober neighbourhood Mary and Emma sure did relish
For drunken men they knew could sure be hellish
Emma was now left the sole breadwinner at grandma's place
She doubled down at work, working long hours
Gaining confidence to provide and alone ''keep house''
It helped that the rent was cheap, only ten dollars a month
She found she could make it, on her woman's rate of pay
Emma was now a modern free financially independent woman
To her two daughters Bonnie and Billie a role model
Both now maturing in a dual female widow headed household
For Emma respected her mother Mary as head of the house
While Emma was second head of her household within
Then in 1921 Samuel's remains were finally shipped home
For repatriation of soldiers bodies ''Uncle Sam'' took care
They all mourned again the loss of Samuel's young life
And Emanuel Santerre allowed his interment
In ''Fish Trap Cemetery'', with his father Frank already there
Emma was proud, a stylish dresser, makeup always on point
With no man in the house to remonstrate and her own money
She now had the freedom to do just as she pleased
Often for others, intimidated, triggered, crushing or plain jealous
Emma's 'posh airs' got on their nerves, left them feeling teased
Emma allowed Bonnie and Billie makeup
Encouraged them to dress well
They were the talk of the neighborhood
Many were the irritated mothers of jealous daughters
Coming up with unkind things of them to tell
Next door neighbor Maud, her concern her family she did tell
For the two lone widows with two young girls and a boy
Living on their shared farmstead, in the house next door
Anything unusual and her husband or one of her three boys
Would be right over to check on them, to make sure all was well
And so it was, there in West Dallas
Where Victor Prosper Considerant
Had Charles Fourier's socialist principles spoke
And with his few hundred disciples
The pioneer community of La Reunion invoked
'Twas around these remnants of La Reunion
Amongst these descendants of Napoleon The Third's
Expatriated French, Belgian and Swiss political refugees
With Confederate veterans still around and lots of Mexican folk
That Bonnie to the World became woke
At the brand new, independent, 'Cement City School'
Just two blocks west, across the road
Bonnie mowed a wide row through school activities
Elocution- dance- sports and running around
In all the school plays, Bonnie could be found
Through school Bonnie fought her way
Quick tempered and smarting from any perceived slight
Always in some sort of scrape or fight
Obedient, but never the teachers pet, always a mind of her own
Too full of mischief to suit a teacher they'd say
Though Bonnie was always the one they chose
Being the most precocious of her peers
To speak pieces and sing songs
And otherwise show off and be cool
When there was need to put on a good front at school
The weekly visiting teacher of expression
Fell in love with ''this adorable child''
Had her over to her Dallas City house for sleepovers
Her grandfather would roll back the rugs to romp and play
A horse, steamship, monkey, lion, he'd act at Bonnie's say
''Fellers'' at school, cute Bonnie had a lot
Vying who the better gift for her got
Always had she a book satchel full of candy bars
Sort of mashed looking apples, chewing gum and such
To be her friend they wanted so much
In the cheap wooden rental houses beside Cement City School
And the growing ''house camp'' across the road in ''King's Row''
Lived families with children that to Cement City School did go
Bonnie would visit with her friends living within a ''stone's throw''
It was a lively close knit neighborhood for children to grow
From all along Eagle Ford Road and a good ways besides
Came children from surrounding middle schools
To do grades eight nine and ten, at Cement City High
The teachers all strived for a high standard
And were proud of their independent Cement City High
Bonnie was an honor student always top of her class
Was the junior Dallas County 1922 ''Spelling Bee'' champ
That bright adorable curly yellow haired, blue eyed ''vamp''
Bonnie wanted to make her mama Emma proud
For the school fee she worked so hard to pay
Local, elected officials, pretty Bonnie did they sometimes ask
To accompany them to their speeches on election campaigns
So cute and so witty, and such a pretty little trick
Candidates could always count on drawing crowds with Bonnie
Making voting for them a more fun and enticing task
Many of the officials elected in Dallas County that same 1922
Including the Sheriff, Police Chief and Judges of the Court
Along with one in three Dallas men
Were members or associates of the Ku Klux Klan
Acting with impunity, as they saw fit, often outside of the law
Emma her children to piano lessons signed
Bonnie was certainly musically inclined
But she didn't learn the music, instead played by ear
So Emma stopped letting Bonnie go
This was ''wasting money'' in Emma's mind
So sympathetic and tender hearted was Bonnie
She'd break her pencil in half, happily
And share it with a classmate
Who didn't have one, she'd see
So they'd in trouble with the teacher not be
She'd even sometimes refuse to take her prizes
For her recitations, essays and spelling
That she'd often at school awarded be
She'd say she wanted her friends to have them instead
She liked to see them happy too, she said
While those fool enough to from her steal
Or double cross her some kind
With fists and feet on them she pounced
Razor in hand, like a cat on a mouse
Them she often fairly trounced
Bonnie had a penchant for siding with the ''underdog''
Often the one championing those less fortunate
She'd look out for a disabled girl in her class
Often helping the girl climb the school's stairs
Empathizing with other's sorrows, as if they were hers
In the tenth grade, with school's end now looming nigh
What with Dutchie having just gotten married
And fixing to soon move to a new town
Without Dutchie, Bonnie's fun at the farmstead was gone
So Bonnie got motivated to start ''moving on''
Oh to get married like Dutchie, did Bonnie sigh
So she started giving handsome classmate Roy the eye
Roy, the youngest child, with settled older siblings
Living with his sister, he seemed a good catch all round
Roy fell for Bonnie and she moved quickly to ''lock him down''
On neighbour LePori's market garden Bonnie picked beans
Just up Harris Ave across from ''Fish Trap Cemetery''
To earn the money for her wedding dress
She came up a little short, so the farmer fronted her the shortfall
So she could have that dress of her dreams
Roy, work as an acetylene welder did snare
At the Wyatt Metal and Boiler Works
Through his brother-in-law, already employed there
To prove to Emma that for Bonnie he could provide
Before Emma her objections set aside
So married they got, Bonnie just short of sixteen
And life was ''bliss'' for a short little while it seems
''I'll Stay'', Bonnie her poetic wedding vow wrote
She was filled with so much happiness
Her husband Roy she'd now proudly tote
Just like the ramblin' roses
Round the porch in summer do
Tho all the world forget you
That's the way I'll cling to you
Just like the sturdy ivy
On a castle's crumbling stone
I'll cling to you and love you
And you'll never be alone
Just like the stars in Heaven
Cling around the Moon at nite
I'll stay with you forever
Whether you are wrong or right
Just like the perfume lingers
On a rose until it dies
I'll stay with you and guide you
With the love light in my eyes
Just like an old song longing
On an exile's lonely breast
I'll stay with you & gladly help
To build a humble nest
Just like the ramblin' roses
Round the porch in summer do
'Tho skies are grey my sweetheart
I'll always stay with you
END OF I'LL STAY
Bonnie had hoped to bring Roy home to stay
But Grandma was not having it, said ''no way''
Already put out by Bonnie marrying so young
Annoyed at her daughter Emma for giving her permission
Grandma insisted that Bonnie and Roy had to go away
Bonnie and Roy happily rented a place only two blocks away
Bonnie insisted on seeing her Mama every day
This drove Roy to exasperation at times
Thus had Bonnie stepped out into the world of independent life
But with separation anxiety, she was experiencing strife
Emma loved her beautiful daughter Bonnie dearly
Ideally Roy would have moved in, to with them all stay
But Emma's mother Mary had refused to have it that way
So Emma resolved to leave her own mother instead
''I'll be with you as long as you need me'', to Bonnie she said
Emma suggested Bonnie and Roy ''move in with her''
Bonnie and Roy, overjoyed, to this yes did say
So Emma rented a bigger better place a few miles away
Bonnie and Roy moved in with her right away
Dependent on Emma, along too came Hubert and Billie to stay
Emma's older sister Lillie was also by now widowed
And with her daughter Dutchie now married and gone
There was no point on Fish Trap Road her living alone
They'd been discussing her moving in with Mary and Emma
Instead, Lillie moved in with Emma's new household together
While back at Mary's place it was not lonesome long
For her two sons John and Wylie moved in there right away
From their respective ''digs'' just beside on King's Row
John with his wife Kittie and their brood of little children
Wylie, divorced, with his son Carlos, all moved in to stay
Mary had lots and lots about Emma and her brood to say
Incessantly comparing the new comers to them, fretting away
Longingly pining after her ''pet'' Billie Jean, wishing she'd stayed
Kittie'd named her newborn daughter Billie Jean after Billie
It did little to help Mary's emotions to sway
Thus twelve years after Charles Parker had passed away
Emma, Bonnie, Billie and Hubert
Were ''back on their own feet''
With Roy and Emma working
Their own rent and housekeeping bills they could now meet
Billie was still at Cement City High
Just along the road from Grandma's place
Now she had to walk the extra miles every day
Bonnie would walk half the way there with Billie
Then later meet her for the walk back home, waiting at halfway
Bonnie was lonesome at home all day
With Roy, Emma, Lillie and Hubert all at work and Billie at school
There was none of the bustle of Grandma's place
Missing the fun of school and her old neighborhood friends
This new suburban loneliness Bonnie now had to face
Billie decided she'd finish with school that summer of 1927
So that Bonnie would not be lonesome all day
They all decided to look for a place in the city to stay
Finding ''rooms to let'' at a large former-house rooming-house
At 611 Olive Street, right in the center of town
So Bonnie and Roy, Emma Billie and Hubert along with Lillie
To the rooming-house on Olive Street did all move
Just back of the flashing neon lights
Of Elm Street's bustling ''theatre row''
Stylish shops beaconing, people a moving fashion show
Billie went out job hunting right away
Soon landing a job as a clerk at the Dallas Salvage Co
Right out of school and just short of fifteen, what a way to go
Told them she was older than she was
They didn't check care or know
This bedazzling city bustle
Bonnie's lonesomeness did somewhat soothe
This city life was a bright ''mad dizzy whirl''
So different to the life she'd lived
Out at that rural West Dallas farmstead, as a country girl
Roy had a pal at the Wyatt Metal and Boiler Works
Who'd come round Olive Street visiting
With his brother Fred Mace often in tow
There Billie met Fred and decided he was true
They hit it off and would be married before 1928 was through
Living in the Olive Street hood soon expanded Bonnie's ''world''
With so many diversions beaconing and new things to do
But they all needed money, a nickel here a dime there
Depending solely on Roy and constantly asking for more
Friction over finances was inevitably in store
They'd been trying some time for a baby, but without success
Friction between Bonnie and Roy now often ensued
Finally Roy stormed off and stayed away for ten days
Leaving Bonnie awhile would ''teach her'' he thought
And daily rooms were aplenty, cheap and easily sought
Bonnie was blue, missing Roy and thinking of him all the time
She went out and got herself a tattoo
Two hearts pierced by cupid's arrow on her inner right thigh
''Ink Roy beneath the right and Bonnie beneath the left''
She said to the tattooist with a sigh
Another huge spat with Bonnie on her seventeenth birthday
Saw Roy again storming out the door
Staying away for nineteen days this time
Roy was becoming a roaming husband with a roaming mind
Reciting the poem ''When! ! '', dejected, her time she'd bide
A lonely wife on a door step sat
Saw her husband passing by
She asked him if he'd soon be back
And this was his reply
''When women stop ''talkin' ''
And babies stop ''cryin' ''
When mules stop ''balkin' ''
And men stop ''lyin' ''
When bees make bread
And flies make honey
When ''misers'' go ''broke''
And ''hoboes'' save ''money''
When white is black
And the wind is still
Then I'll come back
Like hell I will''
END OF WHEN
Bonnie was lonesome and awfully blue
Pining for Roy and missing him terribly
Still loving him and not knowing what to do
But when Roy came back things soon frothed again
Over a month this time, Roy was gone over Xmas and New Year
Emma took pity on Bonnie, gave her some spending money
Independent and disliking men, Emma wasn't taking Roy's side
Bonnie hung out with her girlfriends and together they resolved
''To take no men or nothing seriously, let all men go to hell!
But we are not going to sit back and let the world sweep by us''
The nightlife around Bonnie's home on Olive Street was ''lit''
The girls that hung around her hood were a ''colorful'' elite
Waiting evenings to be ''picked up'' back of ''Theatre Row''
Dressed to the nines, they made the back streets a fashion show
Bonnie penned the gist of it in ''The Prostitutes Convention''
THE PROSTITUTES CONVENTION
You have heard of big ''conventions''
And there's some you can't forget
But get this straight, there's none so great
As when the ''prostitutes'' met
To a ''joint'' on ''Harwood Street'' last year
They came from far and near
From ''behind the barn'' in ''stolen cars''
The damn ''broads'' gathered here
Three hundred came from North Dallas
Some came from Akard Street
Of all the ''Parades of Fashion''
Not a ''Paris'' shop could compete
From the ''Ivor Hotel'' came ''Billie''
And ''Bess the Katyclid''
With ''maniac Mag'' from the ''Elm Street drag''
Came the ''San Jacinto Kid''
''Bashful Bill'' and ''Hain-lip Lil''
Blew in with ''Hell Fine Jack''
''Wanda Jane'' from the ''Pearl Street Gang''
''Estelle'' from the ''Live Oak Track''
I saw some ''hides'' I'd never met
A ''frail'' called ''West End Rose''
With ''Pearl and Pauline'' from the ''Josephine''
Came a gal dubbed ''Mopin Mose''
''Big Imogene'' dressed like a ''queen''
Made friends with ''Baby Red''
''North Side Nell'' ''lit up'' like hell
Drank ''jack'' with ''East Side Ed''
While ''Lonesome Lou'' and ''Subway Sue''
Along with ''Mamphid Min''
And ''Martha Lin''
''Shook up'' some damn good ''gin''
''Hop Head Het'' spilled out a song
Composed by ''Kathelene''
''Lacey Galore'' joined in the score
Whistling and swaying with ''Abilene''
Then the ''Laws'' swooped in
And broke up the ''show''
Hauled some away
Most scattered as best they did know
All vowed to soon be back
Their ''spirits'' never low
Sure as hell their ''convention''
Would again be a sensational ''go''
END OF THE PROSTITUTES CONVENTION
Roy too was not immune to the sights of the back streets
Back at Cement City Bonnie had seemed the ''star of the show''
Now Roy started noticing all these available grown women
And Bonnie to him now seemed more and more still just a child
Roy kind of lost interest in Bonnie, around with his pals he'd go
On New Years Eve 1927 Bonnie and her girlfriends got drunk
Bonnie drowning her sorrows in bootleg ''bottled hell! ''
''I've been the happiest and most miserable woman this last year
I can't forget Roy, but I feel he has gone for good''
Writing ''Bravery'' wishing her ''past'' the old year had took as well
No one must know that I'm lonely
Or care that you've gone away
And I must smile while I answer
You will be back some day
No one must know how I tremble
When I hear a siren moan
Just fearing for you darling
And hoping you're safe at home
Sometimes in my wildest fancy
I dream you're coming back
'Tho I know it is never possible
I'll always be waiting Jack
I must be singing always
Smiling as others do
Tho I'm weighted down with sadness
And my heart cries out for you
When I say my prayers at evening
This is the thing I ask
God, make me braver tomorrow
Paint me a brighter mask
END OF BRAVERY
With little money and no Roy
Bonnie started hanging around
With city ''fellers'' she had gotten to know
All vying to hang out with cute witty and fun Bonnie
All happy to pay for her dinner and a picture show
The Overland Stage, A Night Of Love, Framed
Afraid To Love, Marriage, The Primrose Path
And still more at the Pantages and Old Mill
Feeling morose, ''why don't something happen''
At Chocolate Shop Bonnie'd sometimes chill
''I have a date, but to hell with all men
He is very nice, a perfect gentleman
But how can I enjoy life? , I don't feel like going''
Later she said, ''Was a very good show but I was bored to death
Had dinner after the show''
On the third day of the New Year 1928
Bonnie finally decided to go looking for her first job
''Searched this damn town over for a job today
I guess luck is against me, I wonder what tomorrow will bring''
Exhausted, tomorrow Bonnie stayed home all day and slept
''Blue as usual, not a darn thing to do, don't know a darn thing
It's just another day to me
Plenty to do but no heart to do it
Everything has gone wrong today
Why don't something happen? , what a life! ''
Monday ninth January Bonnie went on her second job hunt
''We have been torn up all day
Went to hunt a job but never found it''
Bonnie exhausted was dejected for the next two days
''Blue as usual, not a darn thing to do''
Monday sixteenth January, job hunting Bonnie didn't even try
Went to Chocolate Shop then went home and cried
With Roy obsessively always on her mind
For she couldn't see how she could possibly survive
Without Roy's financial support for life's grind
Ever since friction over money had soured things with Roy
Bonnie had become lastingly so blue and so down
Her carefree love with Roy had become tainted with finances
In desperation Bonnie had become clinically depressed
Lack of confidence to earn her own money left her stressed
Bonnie's clinical depression advanced to suicidal ideation
''I can't get Roy off my mind
I am fully discouraged, for I know I can never live with him again
Every night I look at his dear little pictures, that's all I have of him
Oh, God, how I wish I could see Roy! ''
''If I knew for sure he didn't care for me
I'd cut my throat and say ''here goes nothing''
Maybe he does though, I still have hopes
I guess I am a fool to look for any word from him
But I don't want to lose hopes any worse''
Emma, confident in her own independence, counselled Bonnie
''Why don't you send him packing when he does come back?
He treats you like a dish rag
Comes and goes when he pleases
I'd put a stop to it if I were you, Bonnie''
Bonnie came and hugged Emma
''Because I love him
Someday I may get enough of the way he's acting
But right now I want him back, mama
I wish I could see Roy''
Alone with her wedding ring
Her tattoo of two hearts pierced by an arrow
With ''Roy'' and ''Bonnie'' inked beneath them
On her right inner thigh
And that piece of paper that said she was married to him
For she had been an obedient school and family gal
Building for an ideal station in life
Now all seemed lost, Bonnie felt in strife
Her ''woman's glory'' spent on a ''no good cur''
She'd ''had her day'', now her Husband had gone away from her
Gone to break every commandment
With the world still lending him a hand
While she, who had loved but unwisely
Was now an outcast all over the land
''People Will Talk'', rang so true, if bland
PEOPLE WILL TALK
If you listen to all
That is said as you go
You may get through the world
But 'twill be pretty slow
You'll be worried and fretted
And kept in a ''stew''
For ''meddlesome tongues''
Must have something to do
''And people WILL talk''
If quiet and modest
You'll have it presumed
That your humble position
Is only assumed
You're a ''wolf in sheep's clothing''
Or else you're a ''fool''
But don't get excited
Keep perfectly cool
''For people WILL talk''
And then if you show
The least boldness of heart
Or a slight ''inclination''
To take your own part
They'll call you an ''upstart''
''Conceited and vain''
But keep right ahead
Don't stop to explain
''For people WILL talk''
If threadbare your dress
And old fashioned your hat
Someone will surely
Take notice to that
And hint rather strong
That you can't pay your way
But don't get excited
Whatever they say
''For people WILL talk''
If your dress is in fashion
Don't think you'll escape
For they criticize then
If it's a different shape
Your ahead of your ''means''
Or your tailor you don't pay
But mind your own business
Don't mind what they say
''For people WILL talk''
Now the best way to do
Is to do as you please
For your mind if you have one
Will then be at ease
Of course you will meet
With all sorts of abuse
But don't think to stop it
It is of NO use
END OF PEOPLE WILL TALK
Bonnie often prayed to God
When she was down and feeling blue
But all her tears and pleadings
Brought no answer down from Him
Or guided her as to what to do
The following Monday 23rd January Bonnie got lucky
She answered an advertisement for a waitress and got the job
At Marco's Cafe,702 Main Street at Market
''Pure Foods, Quick Service, Popular Prices''
With Court House, County Jail, Laws and Billie's work just nigh
Now making steady money for the first time in her life
Emulating Emma, Bonnie bought herself beautiful things
Nosey people would notice she was well dressed
In a way, they would snobbishly remark
Could not be accounted for by a waitress salary
Roy was none too happy that Bonnie was working as a waitress
He disappeared without a word for a whole year
Bonnie vowed when Roy returned she'd send him away
She still loved Roy but didn't need him anymore
Considering herself now ''Separated'' and free to play
Bonnie now needed a bank account into which to save her pay
But a woman could not open a bank account in Bonnie's day
So Bonnie wrote her uncle Floyd Parker to open her an account
'Twas a swell way to connect with her father's brother anyway
Sent him a studio photo of herself, ''all grown up'' now to say
Floyd lived way out Burkburnett way
He dutifully opened Bonnie an account at his local bank
''The First National Bank, of Burkburnett Texas''
Slipped the account's bank book in an envelope
And mailed the bank book back to Bonnie
Marco's Cafe became Bonnie's ''happy place''
Run by the Macedonian Greek Marco restaurant family
They treated pretty little Bonnie like ''Helen Of Troy''
Treated her like they would family
Bonnie blossomed in it's ''mad dizzy whirl''
Sheriff Hal Hood for his doughnut
A Judge wanting a cigar
Coffee- sugar- milk- pepper- salt- ketchup
What would you like Sir? Oysters? Here you are!
Ringing it up on the till, nickels- dimes- quarters- cents
Often times in the corner would sit
Western Union messenger boy Hinton Ted
Dreaming wet dreams of that cute friendly waitress girl
Too shy to banter with Bonnie like the other customers
To Bonnie very politely hi- please- thankyou and bye he said
The Court House bums played her for a ''mark''
Claimed to be penniless and starved
Their sad eyes appealing to her impressionable sweet heart
That often on her own dime she fed them free
Her paycheck, thus, often halved
But Bonnie didn't mind
Said she just couldn't bare to see people go hungry
Was so sweet hearted and kind
The manager tried to get Bonnie to stop it
She slipped it through before he caught it, many a time
She felt pity looking into their sad lonely eyes
A poem she'd read had touched her
Called ''The Hobo's Last Ride''
She tried to share a little kindness
Which they might remember in their last sighs
THE HOBO'S LAST RIDE
In the Dodge City yards of the Santa Fae
Stood a ''freight'' made up for the East
The Engineer with his coal and oil
Was grooming his iron beast
While ten cars back in the murky dust
A box car door swung wide
And a hobo lifted his ''pal'' inside
To start on his last long ride
A lantern swung and the freight pulled out
The Engine gathered speed
The Engineer pulled the throttle wide
And clucked to his iron steed
While ten cars back in an empty box
The hobo rolled a ''pill''
And the flaring match showed his partners face
Stark white and deathly still
The train wheels clicked on the coupling joints
The song for the ''ramblers'' ears
And the hobo talked to the still white ''form''
His ''pal'' for many a year
For a mighty long time we've rambled Jack
With the luck of men that roam
With the back door steps for a dining room
And the box car for a home
We dodged the ''Bulls'' on the eastern route
And the Laws on the Chesapeake
We travelled the Leadville Narrow Gauge
In the days of Cripple Creek
We drifted down through sunny Cal
On the rails of the old S.P.
Of all you had through good and bad
A half always belonged to me
You made me promise Jack
If I lived and you ''cashed in''
To take you back to the old grave yard
And bury you there with your kin
You seemed to know I would keep my word
For you said that I was ''wise''
Well I'm keeping my promise to you ''pal''
Cause I'm taking you home tonight
I hadn't the money to send you there
So I'm taking you back on the ''fly''
It's the decent way for a ''Bo'' to go
Home to the by and by
I knew that fever had you Jack
And that doctor just wouldn't come
He was too busy treating the wealthy folks
To doctor a worn out ''bum''
As the train rolled over it's ribbon of steel
Straight through to the East it sped
The Engineer in his high cab seat
Kept his eyes on the rails ahead
While ten cars back in the empty box
The lonely hobo sighed
For the days of old and his ''pal'' so cold
Who was taking his last long ride
END OF THE HOBO'S LAST RIDE
Bonnie was one hell of a ''spark''
Only four-foot-eleven and but ninety pound
But a thousand of dynamite, sweet jolly and fun
She loved watching the new ''talkies'' at the theatres
'Sonny Boy' from 'The Singing Fool' was the rage all round
She'd never again marry, that she vowed
Like her Mama, to make it on her own, she'd be proud
To hopeful suitors her reply was thus cast
''Thank you and God bless you for asking
But I'll stick it out now till the last''
Often she'd borrow a car
And go driving near and far
But Bonnie was no naive ''date''
With her she always carried
Her Smith and Wesson Model-Ten Two-Inch Thirty-Eight
She played ''Hard'' and ''Fast'' as 'Bonnie Jean'
With her cute looks and good form
She had a new man on many an evening
Her kisses were thrilling and warm
She was now ''free'' and kicking up a storm
Bonnie quickly grew wise
To the life of the ''street''
''The Girl With The Blue Velvet Band''
Was a poem she'd read
Of a type of girl one should beware to meet
THE GIRL WITH THE BLUE VELVET BAND
In the city of wealth, beauty and fashion
Dear old Frisco, where I first saw the light
And the many frolics that I had there
Are still in my memory tonight
One evening while out for a ramble
Here or there without thought or design
I chanced on a girl tall and slender
On the corner of Kearney and Pine
On her face was the first flush of nature
Her bright eyes seemed to expand
While her hair fell in rich brilliant manner
Was entwined with a ''blue velvet band''
After lunch to a well kept apartment
She invited me with a sweet smile
And she seemed so refined, gay and charming
I thought I would linger awhile
Then she shared with me a collection
Of wines of an excellent brand
And conversed in politest language
This girl with the ''blue velvet band''
Her ladies taste was resplendent
From the graceful arrangement of things
From the pictures that stood on the bureau
To a little bronze Cupid with wings
But what struck me most was an Object
Designed by an ''Artistic Hand''
Was the costly ''lay out'' of a ''Hop Fiend''
And that ''Fiend'' was my ''Blue Velvet Band''
'Tis months since that ''craven arm'' grasped me
In bliss did my life glide away
From ''opium'' to ''dipping'' and ''thieving''
She ''artfully'' led me by day
One evening coming home wet and dreary
With the ''swag'' from a ''jewelry store''
I heard the soft voice of my loved one
As I gently opened the door
If you'll give me a clue to convict him
Said a stranger in accents so ''bland''
You'll then prove to me that you love me
It's a go, said my ''Blue Velvet Band''
Oh how my heart filled with anger
At a woman, so ''fair'', ''false'' and ''vile''
And to think I once had adored her
Brought my lips a contemptuous smile
Our ''ill gotten'' gains she had squandered
And my life was hers to command
But deserted and betrayed for another!
Could this be my ''Blue Velvet Band''?
I challenged this stranger I found there
The draw on him I got first hand
He identified himself as a Deputy
My gun on him I held with firm hand
The Law, not liking the ''glitter''
Of the ''forty-five'' Colt in my hand
He hurriedly left through the window
Leaving me with my ''Blue Velvet Band''
What happened to me I will tell you
I was ''ditched'' for a ''desperate'' crime
There was ''hell'' in a bank about midnight
And my pal was shot down in his ''prime''
Just a few minutes before I was ''hunted''
By the Laws who had wounded me too
My temper was none of the ''sweetest''
As I swung myself into their view
As a convict of ''hard'' reputation
Ten years of this ''grind'' I did land
And I often thought of the pleasures
I had with my ''Blue Velvet Band''
Many months have passed since this happened
And this story belongs to the past
I forgave her, but just retribution
Claimed this fair but false one at last
She slowly sank lower and lower
Down through life's ''shifting sands''
'Till finally she died in a ''Hop Joint''
This girl with the ''blue velvet band''
If she had been true when I met her
A bright future for us was in store
For I was an able ''mechanic''
And ''honest'' and ''square'' to the core
But as ''sages'' of old have contended
What's ''decreed'' we mortals must stand
So a ''grave'' in the ''Potter's Field'', ended
My ''romance'' with the ''Blue Velvet Band''
END OF THE GIRL WITH THE BLUE VELVET BAND
Roy started running around in a little ''burglary ring''
Together with Billie's husband Fred
And Fred's brother, Roy's pal from Wyatt's, joining in too
A former Dallas County Sheriff's son
Completed their ''crew''
Roy got caught out Red Oak
Was tried for robbery and ''sent up'' for five years
Although Bonnie was no longer dependent on or needed Roy
She was exceedingly sorry for him
Thought his sentence was overly severe
Emma asked Bonnie why she made no effort to get a divorce
Bonnie answered ''Well, I didn't get it before Roy was sent up
And it looks sort of dirty to file for one now
Besides, I don't want to marry anybody else
So I'll just wait, mama''
Bonnie decided she'd continue wearing her wedding ring
For the ring would ward off suitors
And give her the status of one married
And freedom to ramble as she pleased through life
Under the convenient ''cover'' of being a married wife
With Billie now pregnant, her baby soon to be born
The Olive St rooming-house was no longer suitable
So Emma with Billie and Fred, Bonnie and Hubert
Decided to rent a single house for them all
Lillie not keen to stay behind alone, said I'll join y'all
They first rented a house on Douglas Street
Decided after a short while it was somewhat too small
So upped and rented another on Hickory Street
But something was wrong with that one too a bit
Finally they settled in a house on Cockrell Street, a good fit
That she was now the wife of a convict weighed on Bonnie
Her mind began to wander with fantasies of outlaw life
Fantasizing of living on ''life's other side''
While observing her customers at Marco's Cafe
Many of them officials and officers from ''life's lawful side''
However, now financially independent of Roy
Bonnie for men did not much care
She had beaus, she always had beaus
Vying to take her out to dances and shows
And girlfriends for ''girl talk'' whenever she chose
Playing the ''game'' of that ceaseless ''lovers grind''
Feeling more and more like the street girl kind
A moral danger poem ''The Street Girl'' resonated with Bonnie
Written as if told to some imaginary ''suitor'', love blind
Bonnie this poem true to her feelings did find
THE STREET GIRL
You don't want to marry me, Honey
Though just to hear you ask me is sweet
If you did you'd regret it tomorrow
For I'm only a girl of the street
Time was when I'd gladly have listened
Before I was tainted with shame
But it wouldn't be fair to you, Honey
Men laugh when they mention my name
Back there on the farm in Nebraska
I might have said, ''yes'' to you then
But I thought that the world was a playground
Just teeming with Santa Claus men
So I left the old home for the city
To play in it's mad dizzy whirl
Never knowing how little of pity
It holds for a slip of a girl
You think I'm still good-looking, Honey?
But no, I am faded and spent
Even Helen of Troy would look seedy
If she followed the pace that I went
But that day I came in from the country
With my hair down my back in a curl
Through the length and breadth of the city
There was never a prettier girl
I soon got a job in the chorus
With nothing but looks and a form
I had a new man every evening
And my kisses were thrilling and warm
I might have sold them for a fortune
To some old Sugar Daddy with dough
But youth calls to youth for it's lover-
There was plenty that I didn't know
Then I fell for the ''line'' of a ''junker''
A slim devotee of hop
And those dreams in the juice of a poppy
Had got me before I could stop
But I didn't care while he loved me
Just to lie in his arms was delight
But his ardor grew cold and he left me
In a Chinatown ''hop Joint'' one nite
Well I didn't care then what happened
A Chinese man took me under his wing
And down in a hovel of Hell-
I labored for hop and Ah-Sing
Oh, no, I'm no longer a ''Junker''
The Police came and got me one day
And I took the one cure that is certain
That island out there in the bay
Don't spring that old gag of reforming
A girl hardly ever comes back
Too many are eager and waiting
To guide her feet off of the track
A man can break every commandment
And the world still will lend him a hand
Yet, a girl that has loved, but un-wisely
Is an outcast all over the land
You see how it is, don't you Honey?
I'd marry you now if I could
I'd go with you back to the country
But I know it won't do any good
For I'm only a poor branded woman
And I can't get away from the past
Good-by, and God bless you for asking
But I'll stick it out now till the last
END OF THE STREET GIRL
Then came the October 1929 ''Crash''
And Marco's soon closed down
They let Bonnie ''go''
But there were now few jobs left
To be found in the town
Meanwhile Bonnie's brother Hubert
Had gotten married to a girl named Edith Ray Clay
Who Billie knew from Cement City High
Who worked as a clerk at the T&P
And hung out with Billie who worked just nigh
Then a good friend that Edith- Bonnie and Billie knew
Had an accident and broke her arm
So Bonnie hurried on over to help
Moved in with her for a short while
With no job, she could freely share her charm
The friend lived in nearside West Dallas
That jumble of houses on a platted mess of non standard plots
Unsealed roads gravel dirt dust smell and grime
The ''back porch'' of Dallas City's ''Downtown''
Just across the Trinity from Dallas CBD's sparkling shine
Edith, on the way to visit the friend and Bonnie
Stopped by her folks house at Eagle Ford Road's start
Her brother Clarence was home with his friend Clyde Barrow
Whose folks were neighbors from that same part
Deciding to go together, they all piled into Clyde's car
Ever bubbly and jolly, Bonnie was soon chatting away
With this dashing handsome slick combed young stranger
Who'd been round her hood so long, but she'd never yet met
Who was so well dressed, polished and full of charm
They lit up like two kindred spirits with so much to say
Clyde asked if he could come visit Bonnie next day
She giggled and said ''sure, we've so much more to say''
From then on Clyde milled around constantly
Showing Bonnie what a ''daddy'' he could be
Bonnie was cautious, but loving what she did see
Clyde oozed self confidence, yet was fresh faced and young
Had plenty of money and ''his own car''
Acted like a ''boss'', sober and competent
Bonnie was interested, but she was wise and worldly now
Quickly figuring that Clyde must be some gangster star
Clyde took Bonnie riding, started showing her ''the ropes''
Out of a job, ''working'' for Clyde started looking good to Bonnie
Needing money, this opportunity ''knocked'' at just the right time
Bonnie quickly grew enamored with Clyde's ''world''
Reckoned she'd ''make it'', together with Clyde
The girls arm got well, so home Bonnie went
All the while things for Clyde were getting ''pent''
Deciding he'd ''skip town'' for a wee while
Clyde stopped by Bonnie's place to say bye
Talked so long, stayed all night, 'till just breakfast shy
That morning, ''Laws'' a surprise visit, to Bonnie's place did pay
A sleepy Clyde they roused and took away
Down to that ''Bar Hotel'', the Dallas County Jail
Bonnie was so distraught, she was almost dead
Her fear of loosing Clyde went to her head
At home, Bonnie's heart was breaking for him
There was nothing to do but wait for him
Her Majestic Radiola playing Jimmie Rodgers records
Making her ever more melancholy and blue
She recalled the poem ''From Shadow - Sun'' as best she knew
FROM SHADOW - SUN
I learn as the years roll onward
And leave the past behind
That much I have counted sorrow
But proves our God is kind
That many a smile I longed for
Had a hidden thorn of pain
And many a rugged pathway
Led to fields of ripening grain
The clouds must cover the sunshine
But cannot banish the Sun
And the Earth shines all the brighter
When the weary rain is done
We must stand the deepest sorrow
To see the clearest light
And often from wrongs own darkness
Comes the very strength of right
We must live through the weary winter
If we would value the spring
And the woods must be cold and silent
Before the robin sings
The flowers must be buried in darkness
Before they can bud and bloom
The sweetest and warmest sunshine
Comes after the storm and gloom
So the heart from the hardest trials
Gaines the purest joy of all
And from lips that have tasted sadness
The sweetest songs will fall
For as peace comes after suffering
And love is reward for pain
So after Earth comes Heaven
And out of our loss is gain
END OF FROM SHADOW - SUN
Bonnie visited Clyde often
In his City Jail cell
Just across from old Marco's Cafe
All the Laws there knew
The cute little waitress well
''Sugar, I don't know a thing that is interesting
Only I love you more than my own life
And I am almost crazy
Honey, if you stay in jail two more weeks
I'll be as crazy as a bughouse rat
''I dreamed last night
That you got ''out'' and I got ''in''
I wish I could serve those long days for you, dear
But if I were in
You'd probably forget me''
''Honey, if you were to get twenty five years in the pen!
You would be a broken old man
Friendless and tired of living when you did get out
Everyone would have forgotten you but me, and I never will
But I should more than likely be dead by then''
''And think, dear, all your best years spent in confinement
Away from the outside world, wouldn't that be terrible?
Dear I know you are going to be good and sweet
When you get out, aren't you, Honey?
They only think you are mean, I know you are not''
''And I'm going to be the very one to show you
That this outside world is a swell place,
And we are young and should be happy
Like other boys and girls
Instead of being like we are''
''Sugar, please don't consider this advice
As from one who is not capable of lending it
For you know I'm very interested
And I've already had my day
And we're both going to be good now, both of us''
Round Bonnie went to meet Clyde's parents
There too she met Blanche, wife of Clyde's brother Buck
And fast pal's made with Clyde's little sister Marie
Sneakily they played with makeup behind the back of Cumie
Clyde's little brother L.C. tried fun and friendly to also be
Round Clyde was sent to Denton and Waco
'Till finally in Waco several charges stuck
And to car theft and burglary he confessed
Two to fourteen years in the ''Pen''
Who could have guessed?
Bonnie wrote Clyde, ''I am coming to the jail to visit
Even if they don't let me see you
You'll know I came and tried
Be real sweet Honey and while you're inside
Think of the girl who loves you best, waiting outside''
''Just a line today
As I have made another unsuccessful attempt
Dear, I went to Fort Worth to get some money
And when I got up there nobody was home
I'm coming to see you, cause I must see my daddy''
''If I could you know I would go to jail for you
And more than gladly with you
I only wish I could serve those long old lonesome days for you
It hurts me lots more to have you in there
Than it would to be in there myself''
''Sugar, promise me you won't go away
When you get out I want you to stay
Honey, if you should leave me I wouldn't know what to do
For I've already found out
That life is not worth living without you''
''Sugar, I never knew I really cared for you until you got in jail
And honey, if you get out o.k.
Please don't ever do anything to get locked up again
If you ever do, I'll get me a railroad ticket fifty miles long
And let them tear off an inch every thousand miles''
''Because I never did want to love you
And I didn't even try, you just made me
Now, I don't know what to do
And listen, honeyboy, you started this
And somebody is sure going to finish it''
''Frank says you are going far away
I'm sure you wouldn't leave me for him, would you?
Of course, he says if you care to have me go along
It'll be o.k. with him
But he says it in rather a disinterested manner''
''You didn't act like you were very glad to see me today
Don't you love me anymore?
I know how you feel, honey
I guess you are awfully worried''
Now Bonnie was no ''Sissy Sob''
The tough ''school yard brawler'' was up for the ''job''
A gun 'tween her breasts
Into Waco's McLennan County Jail she smuggled to him
With that she had committed her first big ''sin''
That night Clyde broke out and by morning he was far
But the Laws soon caught him in Middletown Ohio
Back to Waco's Jail he was brought again
Where the Judge re-assigned him
The full fourteen years in the ''Pen''
Bonnie wrote Clyde, ''Don't worry, darling
Because I'm going to do everything possible
And if you do have to go down
I'll be good while your gone
And be waiting- waiting- waiting for you, I love you''
Clyde sent word to his friendly former boss Pat McCray
From the United Glass and Mirror Company, Swiss Avenue way
Asking of him a favor, to help find Bonnie a job for pay
Pat had a word with the owner of his favorite local lunch place
And so got Bonnie a job at Mrs Hartgraves Cafe
Pat came in often for his lunch
Treated Bonnie like a daughter
Bonnie looked forward to his coming
She grew fond of him, it made her both happy and sad
She wished he could have been the father she'd not had
All this while, down in Huntsville ''Pen'' Clyde howled
That abuse of prisoners should not be allowed
Overwork, ''running the dogs'', they'd kill with impunity they'd hint
Enraged, Clyde vowed that when his sentence was finally past
That this prison stint would be his last!
Bonnie spent a lot of time visiting Clyde's parents
And they came round to Bonnie's home to visit too
Marie stayed over for sleepovers
The Barrows were dispossessed tenant farmers
They impressed as people who were strait up and true
They were fascinated by Bonnie and her mother Emma
In disbelief that their son Clyde had ''scored'' such a girl
Well educated, to the tenth grade, cute, bubbly, a real ''doll''
Clyde's mother Cumie, triggered by Bonnie's style and makeup
Would conflictingly talk Bonnie down, when Bonnie wasn't round
At their ''Higginbotham Bailey Logan'' work place
Emma and Lillie chatting with the Ramirez sisters found
That Julio Ramirez, they'd known from their Cement City days
Was looking to sell that newly subdivided plot he'd bought
Three years past at 1620 Eagle Ford Road at Patrick
Home at supper Emma told Bonnie the news
Said she thought Clyde's parents might be interested
Suggested Bonnie tell them about it on her next visit
Bonnie hurried on over and told the Barrows about it
Together they went to view the place from the road
Well, the Barrows talked it over between themselves
Henry Barrow decided that if he could he'd buy it
Told Bonnie he'd like to try it
So Bonnie told Emma who told the Ramirez sisters at work
They set up a meeting with the Barrows and made a deal
A car happened to hit Henry Barrow's horse and scrap cart
Compensation money off of that was a good start
Beautician daughters Artie and Nell pitched in a share
And Son Buck with his new wife Blanche may have rounded it off
With money from their ''honeymoon'' as a robbing pair
So with Bonnie's tip-off
The Barrows got the place
Henry had a relative with a filling station
Decided a filling station would just suit this location
His relative helped him set it up, apace
For gasoline had just now become all the rage
With Dad Joiner and Doc Lloyd having struck ''black gold''
Just off the end of Mrs Daisy Bradford's vegetable patch
Financed by fraud, selling the same shares several times over
H. L. Hunt bought Joiner out, paying him a million and more
And so yet another ''independent'' filling station
Came to Eagle Ford Road adorn
Two pumps with cheap East Texas over quota ''hot gasoline''
Providing oil, tire service, well water and possibly moonshine too
The Henry Basil Barrow, Star Service Station's custom grew
Bonnie felt so happy inside
So happy that by helping Clyde's parents
She'd been able to do something good for Clyde
Every time she came over to visit Clyde's parents
The sight of the Station filled her with pride
But Clyde was doing hard long time
Just like her husband Roy, who'd also gotten ''out of line''
Two boys she'd loved, both dealt a crippling hand
Bonnie was circumspect in her thoughts
Life must go on, time does not still stand
Bonnie was a dreamer, with intrusive thoughts she'd fantasize
Of life inside the underworld's guise
Of being some ''big shot'' gangster's ''moll''
In the glamour, dare and fatalism of that lifestyle
Imagining herself in her poem, ''The Fate Of Tiger Rose''
As Bonnie penned this poem she could in no way have foreseen
That little Herbert Noble, the boy she'd grown up next door to
Would years later be a Dallas gambling ''bigshot'', well laid
Proprietor of that profitable backroom joint ''The Airmen's Club''
It's games deemed honest with occasional winners actually paid
THE FATE OF TIGER ROSE
Yeah, she looks old and bent
And her years are spent
Walking the ''prison yards''
But once she was fair
With golden hair
'Tho her eyes were some what hard
Once she smiled
Like a carefree child
And back of the wreck that is her
Is the old old story
Of a woman's glory
And love for a ''no good cur''
''Two Timer McColl''
Came West with his ''moll''
And his ''moll'' was ''Tiger Rose''
A woman of shame
Who played a hard game
Up stairs over ''Smokey Joe's''
For she was the ''bait''
That laid in wait
With money to blow
On the ''Farris Wheel''
Run by ''Jack Pot O'Neal''
One night ''Jack Pot O'Neal''
At the ''Farris Wheel''
Made a grab for a hidden ''gat''
''McColl'' also let go
And ''Pat'' sagged low
As the ''sub'' went ''rat-tat-tat''
Well, to cut a long story short
In Court, Tiger Rose took all the blame
For she was the ''moll''
Of ''Two Timer McColl''
And she lost
At a ''crooked game''
END OF THE FATE OF TIGER ROSE
Twenty-one months later, a big surprise was in store
Unexpectedly limped Clyde, into Bonnie's door
Bonnie jumped up when him she saw
Ran and threw her arms around him
Her detective beau there with her, hurried off out the door
Bonnie at first didn't see the change inside
But prison had sure as hell changed Clyde
He'd gone from a ''schoolboy'' to a ''rattlesnake''
Burning with a rage Bonnie could not see
His severed toe stoked his P-T-S-D whenever need be
Clyde went to see Pat McCray and got his old job back
At the ''United Glass And Mirror Company''
But the Law's kept messing with him at work
Taking him down to the cells for their ''ugly mug parade''
Giving up his job, he decided he'd had enough of their charade
All the while Bonnie was feeling somewhat ''crowded'' at home Billie with her baby and toddler monopolizing the place
Singing them ''The Craw Dad Song'', fun, but not Bonnie's pace
Her brother Hubert, his wife Edith, Emma and aunt Lillie all there
Feeling ''stalled'', this crowded situation was raising Bonnie's hair
Money was scarce, the Depression had taken hold
Her husband Roy and her sister Billie's, Fred, now both in jail
Emma, toiling a moderate salary job, to stay within the pale
Her brother Hubert not making much as a plumbers hand
Bonnie decided she'd be the one to ''go out and get some''
Clyde and prison pal Ralph Fults soon formed a new gang
With Clyde the boss and Ralph his number two
Neighbor Raymond Hamilton joined them as number three
Bonnie asked Clyde if she could come along too
And thus, ''by accident'', Bonnie joined as number four
Their little gang was the West Dallas represent
Young neighborhood ''kids''
Who'd decided they'd go ''bent''
Their kin acquainted through a ''social spider web''
As famous outlaws they were destined to ''make a dent''
''From Irving to West Dallas Viaducts
Is known as the great divide
Where the women are kin
And the men are men
And they won't ''stool'' on Bonnie and Clyde''
They'd only just started, then Ralph and Bonnie got caught
In Kemp Calaboose they together spent a night inside
Ralph went to the ''Pen'', never again with the gang to ride
Bonnie sat out a two month stint in Kaufman County Jail
''No Billed'' by the ''Grand Jury'', they ''decided'' to set her free
Emma was in very bad financial straits, bail was simply a no go
Instead Bonnie gave Emma all the money she'd saved up
In her ''First National Bank of Burkburnett Texas'' account
That she'd asked her uncle Floyd Parker to open for her
Back when she'd just got her first job at Marco's Cafe
Then Bonnie determinedly tore out all those used pages
Recording the small deposits she'd once so happily made
And in her bank book ''banked'' ten carefully selected poems
Gifting her jailer's friendly wife, who'd been especially kind to her
Her bank book of ''Poems From Life's Other Side''
''The Story Of Suicide Sal'', gangster gal Bonnie
''The Prostitutes Convention'', reformative Olive Street days
''The Fate Of Tiger Rose'', already the wife of a convict, why not
''I'll Stay'', together forever, a need to belong
''From Shadow - Sun'', always hoping for a better tomorrow
''Bravery'', toughness in the face of adversity
''The Hobo's Last Ride'', compassion and loyalty
''The Girl With The Blue Velvet Band'', beware betrayal
''When! ! '', the elusive husband
''People Will Talk'', no matter what, always something to say
''Suicide Sal'' was how Bonnie of herself now thought
She knew the underworld was with danger fraught
That to get the big money would need an ''inside job''
Bonnie expected her ''Jack'' to be true to her in this adventure
Expected his loyalty in return for her dutiful part to his mob
THE STORY OF SUICIDE SAL
We each of us have a good ''alibi''
For being down here in the ''joint''
But few of them really are justified
If you get right down to the point
You've heard of a woman's glory
Being spent on a ''downright cur''
Still you can't always judge the story
As true, being told by her
As long as I've stayed on this ''island''
And heard ''confidence tales'' from each ''gal''
Only one seemed interesting and truthful-
The story of ''Suicide Sal''
Now ''Sal'' was a gal of rare beauty
Though her features were coarse and tough
She never once faltered from duty
To play on the ''up and up''
''Sal'' told me this tale on the evening
Before she was turned out ''free''
And I'll do my best to relate it
Just as she told it to me
I was born on a ranch in Wyoming
Not treated like Helen of Troy
I was taught that ''rods were rulers''
And ''ranked'' as a greasy cowboy
Then I left my old home for the city
To play in it's mad dizzy whirl
Not knowing how little of pity
It holds for a country girl
There I fell for ''the line'' of a ''henchman''
A ''professional killer'' from ''Chi''
I couldn't help loving him madly
For him even I would die
One year we were desperately happy
Our ''ill gotten gains'' we spent free
I was taught the ways of the ''underworld''
Jack was just like a ''God'' to me
I got on the ''F-B-A'' payroll
To get the ''inside lay'' of the ''job''
The bank was ''turning big money''!
It looked like a ''cinch for the mob''
Eighty grand without even a ''rumble''
Jack was last with the ''loot'' in the door
When the ''teller'' dead-aimed a revolver
From where they forced him to lie on the floor
I knew I had only a moment-
He would surely get Jack as he ran
So I ''staged'' a ''big fade out'' beside him
And knocked the forty-five out of his hand
They ''rapped me down big'' at the station
And informed me that I'd get the blame
For the ''dramatic stunt'' pulled on the ''teller''
Looked to them, too much like a ''game''
The ''police'' called it a ''frame up''
Said it was an ''inside job''
But I steadily denied any knowledge
Or dealings with ''underworld mobs''
The ''gang'' hired a couple of lawyers
The best ''fixers'' in any mans town
But it takes more than lawyers and money
When Uncle Sam starts ''shaking you down''
I was charged as a ''scion of gangland''
And tried for my wages of sin
The ''dirty dozen'' found me guilty-
From five to fifty years in the pen
I took the ''rap'' like good people
And never one ''squawk'' did I make
Jack ''dropped himself'' on the promise
That we make a ''sensational break''
Well, to shorten a sad lengthy story
Five years have gone over my head
Without even so much as a letter-
At first I thought he was dead
But not long ago I discovered
From a gal in the joint named Lyle
That Jack and his ''moll'' had ''got over''
And were living in true ''gangster style''
If he had returned to me sometime
Though he hadn't a cent to give
I'd forget all the hell that he's caused me
And love him as long as I lived
But there's no chance of his ever coming
For he and his moll have no fears
But that I will die in this prison
Or ''flatten'' this fifty years
Tomorrow I'll be on the ''outside''
And I'll ''drop myself'' on it today
I'll ''bump 'em'', if they give me the ''hot squat''
On this island out here in the bay...
The iron doors swung wide next morning
For a gruesome woman of waste
Who at last had a chance to ''fix it''
Murder showed in her cynical face
Not long ago I read in the paper
That a gal on the East Side got ''hot''
And when the smoke finally retreated
Two of gangdom were found ''on the spot''
It related the colorful story
Of a ''jilted gangster gal''
Two days later, a ''sub-gun'' ended
The story of ''Suicide Sal''
END OF THE STORY OF SUICIDE SAL
When Bonnie got out of jail, Clyde swung right back along by
To see if she'd give his gang another try
Omitted to tell Bonnie about his recent Hillsboro mess
Facing the ''chair'' if caught, with suicide now his end game
Not realizing, Bonnie jumped in, thinking it was more of the same
She'd now ''tasted'' jail, proved herself, didn't snitch
She'd romped with the Jailer's kids on the lawn
Reminisced and wrote poetry all day
It was the Depression, few opportunities, with little money around
This proposition to make some real money seemed sound
Bonnie reckoned she could continue spending her time
Making little money at yet another plain job
All her life she'd been ''counting small change''
And life seemed to be ''standing still''
Why not do something risque and have a thrill
She'd seen Clyde's parents ''set up'' so good
Suspected that a fair amount might be from clandestine loot
She felt she could help out her Mama in this same way
Sit out a spell in prison, consider it a holiday
And hope to be set for life, when she got out some day
Thus Bonnie resolved to join up with Clyde
With Clyde believing enough in her to take her on as a ''partner''
She saw it as a chance of a lifetime too good to ''pass''
Feeling as she'd already been shunted to ''life's other side''
Now she'd give it her ''best shot'' and have one hell of a ride
Unexpectedly, out Atoka, Clyde got himself into another mess
With no way to ''miss the chair'', or else spend life ''inside''
Bonnie now realized she'd soon loose Clyde
Depressed, wishing to be together, just a little while longer
Up against Clyde's shoulder, she'd snuggle and sigh
Clyde tried to make light, often tried to be cynically funny
Bonnie's bubbly carefree happiness, now tinged with sadness
With death now constantly stalking Clyde
''Nothing's very funny the way I'm feeling''
Bonnie, her spirits low, would often mournfully reply
''I could give up and just get the chair'' said Clyde
''But I won't, no sir, it's set now
We'll have a little while longer together
You and me, isn't that right, honey? ''
Nodding her head against his shoulder, ''Together'', she agreed
Bonnie rode with Clyde and Raymond, her first ride out of state
To hide out at her father's sister's Carlsbad New Mexico place
Millie Stamps was innocently welcoming of her visitors at first
But their new car, money and activity raised her suspicions
She reported her concerns to the Laws, it almost cost her her life
Bonnie sweetly answered the Officer's knock on the door
While Clyde and Raymond rounded from the back of the house
Bundled the hostage Officer into the car and off they sped
The Officer begging them not to return to kill Millie Stamps
Bonnie begging Clyde and Raymond not to take the Officer's life
Raymond was out for blood but Clyde said no
They finally let the Officer out in San Antonio
'Twas the first time Bonnie and Clyde a hostage did take
It had worked out a charm so they considered it a ''swell trick''
Decided they'd do it again in a tick
At this point Bonnie should have taken her leave of Clyde
But Bonnie, emotionally invested, defiantly refused reality to face
Clyde had believed in her, so loyal to him she'd his side grace
Clyde could have refused to let Bonnie with him further ride
But Clyde liked cute Bonnie riding by his side
Soon another family visit of several days was in store
This time to Clyde's mother Cumie's sister
And her husband Jim Muckelroy out Nachodoches way
Cumie Marie and LC came along with Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie loved the better reception than at Millie Stamp's place
Cleaning their guns Bonnie shot herself in the foot
Rattled, the happy party promptly upped and back home went
With Mrs Muckelroy's medicine bottle containing painkiller pills
Dropped off Cumie Marie and LC home at the filling station
Not stopping, Bonnie and Clyde rode right on
''Atta girl, '' Clyde said and patted Bonnie's arm
''A few years, maybe just a few months, then
Out, like Lottie's eye
Meanwhile we'll go driving
Just driving from now till they get us''
Just as Bonnie had been clingy for Clyde in the past
Now Clyde was clingy for Bonnie, keen for her company to last
Bonnie had gotten herself into a fine mess
Trapping herself with her loyalty and the logic of her own mind
And feeling railroaded by the schemes and charms of Clyde
Bonnie had decided her old life she didn't want no more
Decided she wanted to be a part of Clyde's ''world'' instead
Not bothered that Clyde's lifestyle was impossible to sustain
It's illusion so intoxicating of seeming freedom and gain
Masking the inevitable loss sorrow struggle and pain
Bonnie chose to overlook that now just being with Clyde
Would make her an accomplice at every ''event''
Inevitably snowballing, she knew she'd get rapped up big
And for a long ol' time to prison be sent
Her remaining years, without Clyde, to her little meant
Now Clyde was her ''Jack'' and she was his ''Moll''
The tough gangster gal ''Suicide Sal''
A share of the loot, Clyde made sure she always got
For this outlaw adventure, following her heart
Happy to trade all her future for this short part
On the run, driving the highways and byways
Bouncing along over the gravel and dirt
Of numerous, desolate, back country roads
Past fields and prairies, brush and forests
Over hills, through gullies and ravines, they rode
As that endless road slid under
The spinning wheels of their stolen racing machine
Songs and news bulletins on the car radio, uplifting the scene
On and on Clyde Bonnie and Raymond would ride
Always at the ready, their guns at their side
Bonnie, smoking cigarettes, sitting in the front beside Clyde
Navigating with filling station ''Rand McNelly'' road maps
So that ''blind'' they would not have to ride
Constantly praying to travel further down each road
And safely pass through each town, to the other side
The adrenaline rushes were mad
With intoxicating dopamine rewards aplenty
Nervous, anxious and scared
Quiet panic attacks Bonnie often had
But always was she cool headed, crisp voiced and firm
This constant travelling was addictive
The drone of the car's motor soothing
An ever changing flood of visual and aural stimulation
Placing Bonnie in a new ''world'' every day
Daily tasks quickly distracting fear and gloom away
All through this ''road trip'' of Hell
Bonnie, petite, was always dressed so well
Even occasionally sneaking a visit to Clyde's sister Nell
For a permanent, at her 'Beauty Shoppe' salon
In the 'Texas Ranger' headquarters of the 'Sanger Hotel'
Done up ''to the nines''
High heels, 'Blue Waltz' perfume
Eyebrows plucked thin, eyelashes brushed with 'Maybelline'
Lip stick on her cupid's bow lips, rouge on her cheeks
Nails filed to a point, polished and clean
Hair in a permanent set, combed, pinned and capped
A long-skirt paired with a figure hugging top
Stockings, no knickers, so she could make a quick ''pit-stop''
Without wasting time or being seen
And ride long hours cramped in that machine
A dainty little watch on her left hand
On her left ring finger, Roy's wedding band
There too was Clyde's diamond ring
For Bonnie was Mrs. Roy Thornton
And Clyde Barrow's ''Queen''
A brooch with three acorns
And a little cross Bonnie wore
Commending her soul to Heaven
Hoping she might still
Sneak in the back door
While a cigarette, sandwich, Coke and magazine
This side of Heaven kept her lean and mean
Reading 'True Detective' she could be seen
Snapping photographs with a 'Brownie'
Moments to record in a picture she was keen
A Colt Thirty-Eight Detective Special
Taped up in her crotch with medical tape band
With another pistol in her clutch purse
Still another concealed in her clothing
And a Colt Forty-Five automatic pistol always at her hand
Oh yes, and also her Twenty-Gauge
Remington Model-Eleven Five-Shot Semi-Auto
Cut down ''whip-it'' shot-gun
Just when you thought
It couldn't get worse
Bonnie had made up her mind to ride and ride
By Clyde's side, 'til one or both of them died
THIS was the exhilarating adventure of her life
When this ended, she anyway wished to die
For she'd now done all she'd wanted on both ''life's two sides''
''This road was so dimly lighted
There was no highway signs to guide
But they made up their minds
If the roads were all ''blind''
They wouldn't give up till they died''
Some times they'd ride for days
'Till they could find the ''right place''
Bonnie would always help Clyde
When he was casing a ''job''
But dodgy jobs they often let slide
Still, often had they bags of cash
Bonnie, giddy at such ''greenback stash''
But Raymond decided to leave
Sour at Bonnie getting a cut of the loot
Calling them ''unprofessional'' to boot
In Billie and L.C. willing confederates they had
Providing covert assistance a tad
On errands Bonnie and Clyde would them send
Clothes shopping for them they sometimes did
Stylish and expensive, 'twas a blast for a kid
Her first Christmas away, Bonnie got her nephew Buddy a trike
Snuck up to the porch, left it and locked eyes with the tyke
Then she'd smiled to Buddy, waved and fled
They tried to convince Buddy it was Santa Claus who'd been
But Buddy insisted it was Bonnie he'd seen
That Christmas Eve 1932 Clyde's brother L.C.
Was riding along with sixteen year old W.D.
A childhood friend who was pumping gas
At the Barrow's 'Star Service Station' for pocket money
L.C. was out to rendezvous with Clyde and Bonnie
Clyde and Bonnie seemed well ''put together''
Looking glamorous in their new car
Both dressed up to the ''nines''
The illusion too much for W.D., he begged to with them ride
Reluctantly Clyde and Bonnie took W.D. on side
Driving through snow and sleet and howling wind
Rain- thunder storms- mud- freezing cold- dreary fog
Stifling heat- clouds of dust- humid days- wet with sweat
But many a day was sunlit- warm and fine
And many a night was moonlit- still and divine
Though of storms Bonnie was deathly scared
Fearing thunder and lightning more than a gunfight
Shivering and shaking fearing they were all going to die
Said in a gunfight she knew where the bullets were coming from
While from a storm there was no ''fight or flight''
Clyde was ''The Boss'', he always had it his way
Their stolen car he considered ''his''
Everything was gonna be how he'd say
He'd make up his mind and ''that was that''
Though consider Bonnie's input he may
Bonnie often questioned Clyde's actions
Would put forward different points of view
She often dissented and gave instructions too
With feelings and gut suspicions often true
They needed all their collective wits to get safely through
Clyde often cleaned and oiled their guns
With Bonnie squatting right by his side
Holding and passing, helping and guarding
For they were the tools of their trade
And the difference between life and death they made
Target practice they often shot
To keep their ''gun play'' sharp and hot
And exercised a lot
So they could better run and fight
And be captured not
In conditions so cramped
Tempers often flared and raged
Bonnie, ''going home to Mama'' threats often staged
With epic fallouts like two mad teens
Over as little as a tin of sardines
Bonnie would yell at Clyde
''Try to get smart again and I will, too, go home to my Mama''
Clyde would yell at Bonnie
''You try it, old sugar
And if the law doesn't kill you, I will''
But Bonnie knew she couldn't go home to her Mama
For the Laws would come and take her away to jail
Just like from her home, in front of her, they'd taken Clyde
She knew her only two choices were prison or to ride
And freedom felt better than a life ''inside''
Clyde sometimes so mad got
That throw Bonnie he'd do
She'd leap right up
And come right back remonstrating
Upset, she wanted him to ''know it'' too
Bonnie sometimes got so hot
A gun on Clyde she'd point
Threatening that if he didn't ''back off''
He'd by her be shot
But Clyde was scared of Bonnie not
He'd just go into a sulk or walk off a short way
For death by Bonnie's hand Clyde did not fear he'd say
He trusted Bonnie with his life
And if it was her wish to kill him, then so be it
For he anyway had to die some day
But they always made up
Kissed and hugged
For each other they deeply loved
And cared for one another
In a most profound way
Under the cloak of darkness
They would often stealthily ''make their miles''
Stealing through the night
An anonymous glare of moving headlights
Creeping the country roads before morning light
Often times they'd just park at the side of a road
Leave the engine idling when very cold
But while Clyde slept, Bonnie always at the wheel sat
Ready to race off at the slightest hint of danger
To buy time, for Clyde to get ready with his ''gat''
'Twas nothing unusual to be camped roadside
With roads often bad and driving tough
A weary driver resting, was common enough
And when broken down, with a flat or low on gas
Parked waiting for the filling station to open was not crass
Seeing a young boy and girl in a parked car
Folks would give them their space and not pay them much mind
Spooning was a common pass time of youth's pace
Larrikins would sometimes try sneak up to prank them
Police would routinely bawl them out, and off they'd race
Parking up some resident's driveway at night
With stolen local license plates on their car
Patrolling Laws thought everything looked ''right''
No strange suspicious cars in sight
They ''beat it'' before dawn's light
Some times they'd risk it
And lay up at some Tourist Court
The luxury of a bed and a bath
With fresh linen and towels they sought
For a dollar a day an average cabin could be bought
They'd stay in all day making the most of their lay
Resting their weariness away
But while Clyde was asleep hard
Bonnie would lie wide awake
Often at the curtains, nervously scanning the yard
And they'd be gone in a flash
At all hours of the day and night
They'd suddenly up and dash
Their trail lost before their departure came to light
Bonnie didn't cook nor make their bed
Was undomesticated, friends said
They lived in a happy and ordered mess
Like ferals, grabbing food, soda and gasoline on the go
Suited Bonnie to a tee and Clyde was fine with the show
Driving like hell with socks on his feet
Clyde could ''feel'' the car and the road so neat
No ''granny shifting'', he drove racing style
Leaving the Laws in the dust
Over and over, all the while
The Laws had ''pea-shooters'' and old motor cars
Bonnie and Clyde had Ford V-Eights
Sawn off semi automatic shotguns
Automatic Colt Forty-Five Pistols
And National Guard B-A-R's
Some days up in the Ozarks they'd be
Others would see them down San Angelo
Or hiding out in Grand Prairie
Often hanging out in the outlaw ''badlands''
Of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri
Riding through Oklahoma- Kansas- Nebraska
Iowa- Missouri- Arkansas- Louisiana
Nosing out further they'd sometimes be
Wyoming- Minnesota- Wisconsin- Michigan
Ohio- Indiana- Illinois- Tennessee and Mississippi
Early March of 1933 in the papers they read
That FDR had ordered all banks to temporarily close
A bank ''holiday'' of sorts while Uncle Sam pored over their books
Robbing banks during this time
Would be a ''dumb trick'' they said
So off on their own holiday they drove
To Winston-Salem ''Camel City'' in North Carolina they did rove
Their wish to visit the Camel cigarette factory may seem strange
Snapping ''Kodaks'' with a Brownie along the way
Posing against the rocks of the Appalachian Mountain Range
Strangers would often them gladly help
Not knowing nor interested in who they were
To them just some young people who needed a hand
Helping in whatever way they could, no questions asked
For no repayment they Bonnie and Clyde tasked
Dual personalities, one of a polite young couple
The other of heavily armed robbers and thieves
Giving a little here and stealing some there
Those to whom they gave, liked them
Those from whom they stole, did not for them care
Bonnie would guard with the car, motor always running
Sounding a warning on the horn at any sign of danger
While Clyde would politely but firmly handle the robbery
''I don't want to hurt you
But I've got to have your money, hand it over! ''
People were kind of ''jaded'', their gold ''ripped off''
Their hard earned money lost to failing banks
Or their land foreclosed on, unable to repay their debts
In misery some found a tender spot in their heart
For bank robbers like Clyde and pretty Bonnie his sweetheart
Robbing and stealing their way all over the country
Often not knowing themselves where next they'd be
On their epic road trip through such diverse scenery
But always looping back round again to Texas
Always Texas, their folks again to see
Bonnie whiled away the time reading papers and magazines
Scribbling down profuse poetic verse with rime
On scraps of paper she'd then screw up
And just throw them all away
For in her memory they would easily stay
Bonnie would sometimes get to feeling lonesome
Being in the company of men all the time
Not having a woman to talk to
She missed the chatter and laughter of girl talk
For the company of a woman, she often did pine
Bonnie would calm her nerves, having at ''bottled hell''
While nervously chain smoking cigarettes
But never did she get so drunk that she couldn't think
Run, shoot her guns and drive the car
Whiskey dulled her fear and calmed her into sleep
Averaging three hundred miles a day
At sixteen miles to the gallon
With a sixteen gallon tank
On the run, they could not run low
So two to three times a day to a gas pump they'd go
Over many a filling station bell hose they'd ding
To the Bowser Boy in bow tie they'd sing
''Fill her up please''
Yes Sir! Check your oil- water and tire pressure too?
''Sure, and clean the windows, thank you''
That's ten gallons at sixteen cents
Appreciate if you have a buck- two quarters and a dime Sir
''Yeah? Look Buddy! You just hand over your money pouch
Real calm, don't try anything funny or we'll drill you
That's it Buddy, thank you''
Late each night they'd top her up
So through the night they could ride
Country filling stations mostly closed in the wee small hours
And a full tank they had to have, ready for flight
Two gallon gasoline cans helped make it through the night
Chain stealing cars, Ford Deluxe V-Eights, preferentially
With that smooth powerful flathead engine
And safety glass in all windows installed already
Peering through the window, the key left in to see
If unlocked, rummaging the compartments if there it may be
When ''car shopping'' to replace their present machine
Clyde would ride around a small town
Following cars he wanted till he saw them somewhere park
Then after the driver was safely gone
Clyde would jump out, go up and try to ''take it''
Riding around pointing out parked cars he wanted
Bonnie'd discretely go up to check if unlocked they were
If unlocked Clyde would come, get in, see if he could find the key
While Bonnie went back and sat at the wheel of their old ride
If successful she'd drive to their rendezvous, shadowing Clyde
There Bonnie would quickly throw their stuff out of their old car
While Clyde would pick it up and throw it into the new car
Strip both cars of their license tags if they had time
Fix a pair of tags from their ''tag collection'' on their new car
Abandon their old car and off in their new one they'd ride
Sometimes would people later recall
Seeing a 'strange small woman' of seemingly a ''hard character''
Looking around on the street, or sitting in a car
As if she was waiting for someone
Or looking for something
Stealing license plates along their way
So they could appear to be local
Or to hail from whichever state they chose
By the time the Laws could get a check on their plate
They were already on different plates of another state
Burgle places, they'd sometimes do
Unguarded 'National Guard' armories
For B-A-R's, automatic Colt 45 pistols and ammunition too
The odd jeweler and tailor here and there
A taste for expensive clothes they had, who knew?
Sticking up grocery stores, they'd often be
Often first casing them out with ''stalling money''
Cheese- crackers- bread and baloney
Eggs- franks- cigarettes and fizzy
''Pack up all that money in the till too, promptly! ''
Bank ''jobs'' were a tricky thing
With Tellers often armed with guns
They'd always wonder if gunshots would ring
So bank jobs they'd carefully case
And away from them fast they'd race
Rendezvous they had ''down pat''
Somewhere along prearranged roads
They'd given code names one-two-three and that
They would lie in wait and intercept
''On the fly'' Clyde would decide exactly where at
For a Law's call of ''Halt'' Bonnie and Clyde no care paid
Clyde would just step on the gas and race away
Their bandit car, fast receding, would quickly fade
For stubborn pursuers Bonnie's warning shots
A change of their mind often made
Bonnie could comfortably drive at a brisk clip of fifty
In a jam Clyde could push the car up past seventy
But mostly they rumbled along back roads at thirty to forty five
They had nowhere in particular to go and all day to get there
Hour upon hour they easily ''flattened'' many miles
Some times ''bit jobs'' for other outlaws they ''worked''
Though they were widely held in low regard
Their outlaw peers considering them ''cheap crooks''
And their ''capers'' somewhat funny
Just ''kids'' stealing ''grocery money''
Independent they were of all other outlaws
Needing no ones help to stay on the run
Isolated ''lone stars'', acquaintances but hardly a friend
Never trusting anyone, weary of every encounter
None could ''jump'' them without facing their guns
Early April 1933 saw them ''holed up'' in Joplin, Missouri
'Twas there they celebrated ''New Beer's Day''
And incredulously Bonnie read aloud from the newspaper
Of FDR's tyrannical gold confiscation announced that same day
''Have a beer and hand over your gold'' Uncle Sam did say
Well they jeeringly toasted Uncle Sam with beer and belly laughs
That forceful grab for the peoples gold under the ''cloak of law''
Was the most spectacular gold heist of all time
Carried out in true stand over gangster fashion
At Uncle Sam's way below market, ''gold shark'' rate of exchange
Like a true mobster boss
FDR his ''Executive Order'' did make
Commanding that on or before May first of thirty three
All gold coin gold bullion and gold certificates
Before a member bank of his federal reserve system, be laid
With ''criminal'' penalties for not turning over the ''loot''
Ten thousand bucks and or ten years in the ''pen'', for the ''Sap''
The outlaw ''Barrow mob'' sure felt themselves tame
Compared to this self legalizing ''Uncle Sam Gang''
Federal Reserve Notes ''redeemable in gold'' now just IOU crap
Maundy Thursday, the Laws ''jumped'' them at Joplin
Clyde Bonnie and W.D., Buck and Blanche
After reports from locals suspicious of their ''kind''
Shooting, they got away, leaving all behind
A trove of ''treasure'' including undeveloped film did the Laws find
Newspapers printed the gang's photographs
Of pretty Bonnie and handsome Clyde
Posing with their guns and their ride
Together with a poem, freshly written, they there found
''The Story Of Suicide Sal'' thus to the world got round
The press had a ''field day'' with Bonnie
Their reader's imagination running wild
Imagining Bonnie having ''threesomes''
With her gangster pals in the car
Drinking strong corn whisky, smoking a strong cigar
''Living in sin'', how could she possibly be mild?
That tough ''cigar smoking'' ''Suicide Sal'' Bonnie
And that ''Texas Rattlesnake'' gangster Clyde
With scandalizing write-up's, them they did troll
Spotting a newspaper in a mailbox, they'd ''geddit'' on the roll
Seeing themselves in headlines
Both frightened them and gave them a kick
Never had they imagined they'd be such a hot item
But for newspapers chasing sales
A pretty young outlaw girl was such an irresistible trick
Now often sleeping in the woods, hidden in the brush
Bonnie nervously keeping watch
Would talk silently to the stars in the sky
Thinking up poetry just to while the time by
''The Outlaws'' she thus composed, with a sigh
Billy rode on a pinto horse
''Billy The Kid'' I mean
And he met Clyde Barrow riding
In a ''little grey machine''
Billy drew his bridle rein
And Barrow stopped his car
And the dead man talked to the living man
Under the ''Morning Star''
Billy said to the Barrow boy
Is this the way you ride
In a car that does it's ''ninety per''
Machine guns at each side?
I only had my pinto horse
And my six-gun tried and true
I could shoot but they got me
And some day they will get you!
For the men who live like you and me
Are playing a losing game
And the way we shoot, or the way we ride
Is all about the same
And the like of us may never hope
For death to set us free
For the living are always after you
And the dead are after me
Then out of the East arose the sound
Of hoof-beats with the dawn
And Billy pulled his rein and said
I must be moving on
And out of the West came the glare of a light
And the drone of a ''motor's song''
And Barrow set his foot on the gas
And shouted back ''So long''
So into the East Clyde Barrow rode
And Billy into the West
The living man who can know no peace
And the dead who can know no rest
END OF THE OUTLAWS
With the silence of the night
Magnifying everything to terrifying proportions
A sudden crack, suspicious sound or sight
Would send Clyde scrambling for his guns
And Bonnie running for the car
To start the motor and have it running
Ready for Clyde to steal up and jump inside
Slide under the wheel, set his foot on the gas
And race off into the darkness of the night
Bonnie, at the ready, to shoot any danger in sight
Dancing with the danger of natures bites
Ticks mosquitos spiders and all sorts of mites
Snakes, panthers bears and what not
Malaria tetanus venom and lyme disease
Or just plain teeth looking to hunger please
Blanche was so mad at Clyde
For getting Buck back ''on the run''
She considered shooting him
But thought her draw on Clyde would be too slow
And knew that Bonnie would then have shot her anyway
One June night out Wellington Texas way
At the Salt Fork of the Red River
Clyde wrecked the car and burned Bonnie's leg
It was so bad he feared she'd soon be dead
But there was no stopping there they said
From there in a hurry they had to flee
The pain was so bad but Bonnie was tough
She told Clyde she didn't care if she died
That she only wanted to live
If he was still by her side
Two Laws the gang took hostage from the scene of the wreck
Testified that despite being so badly burned
Bonnie navigated from a map giving instructions during their ride
And grabbed two Colt automatic forty fives
Every time ''on alert'' was signaled by Clyde
Days later at Fort Smith, Arkansas, Clyde finally stopped
There a sick-bed for Bonnie
At the Dennis's Mid Way Tourist Court he made
Where the Dennis's nurse daughter
And two of her friend doctors he paid
They tenderly tried to help
This pretty little ''Ruth McCray''
Who'd been so badly burned
By an ''exploding gas cooker while camping''
Her ''husband'' ''Roy McCray'' did say
At this most critical moment in their outlaw lives
When it seemed all but certain that Bonnie would die
They chose the surname of Clyde's old boss Mr McCray
The co-owner of the United Glass and Mirror Company
Who'd got Bonnie her job at Mrs Hartgraves cafe
The doctors insisted that Bonnie
Had to be taken to hospital right away
But both Bonnie and Clyde refused, Clyde told them ''no way''
He insisted they'd stay and look after her right here
The doctors suspected some kind of outlaws, but did not say
They looked Bonnie over never realizing who she really was
They noted she had a tattoo on her right inner thigh
A heart pierced by an arrow with ''Roy'' inked beneath
Clyde had cleverly concealed with makeup and medical tape
The second heart with ''Bonnie'' inked right by
Bonnie was delirious often slipping into a coma
In pain, she cried for her Mama
And both doctors grimly told Clyde
That they thought there was little chance she'd survive
Said he'd better fetch her Mama for her before she died
Clyde raced back alone to Dallas
Taking the biggest risk of his life
To fetch Bonnie's sister Billie to help
Should Bonnie breathe her last
So the gang could leave Bonnie with Billie and escape fast
Bonnie pulled through but she limped a lot
Buckled at the knees she hobbled around
But she was still a gangster gal
The best navigator, re-loader and ''watch'' keeper
No one was taking her down
Buck and WD went out robbing to replenish funds
And messed up real bad on their way back from a ''job''
From their digs at Fort Smith they all hurriedly fled
Too scared to put up at any tourist place
Buying burn salve and bandages, peril of discovery they'd face
Now camping out under the stars
In little ravines and secluded woods
Along little used country lanes in dense underbrush
Along creeks streams and rivers
For days upon days upon days
Finally after a stretch of five days camped out
Along the bank of the Little Sioux River
Bonnie was not feeling well
So after robbing several filling stations along their way
Clyde decided they'd look for a cabin to stop and stay
At the Red Crown Tavern, filling station and tourist court
In Platte City, Missouri, that July they stopped to rest
And chose two cabins they thought were best
But arousing suspicion, in the second night the Laws moved in
Was almost their Alamo, but the ''Barrow Gang'' escaped again
But in the gunfight Buck was shot through the head
Still alive but mortally wounded
They bundled him into the car and into the night fled
Shattering glass from the car's window
Imbedded into Blanche's eyes ''I can't see'' she said
Days later in Dexfield Park, Iowa, all hell broke loose
While camped out, cooking breakfast and tending their wounds
A posse of a hundred came after their ''goose''
Clyde Bonnie and W.D. only just made it out alive
Buck and Blanche were captured and Buck soon died
Across the river a farmer had a car but little gasoline
Got the engine running then poured in some kerosene
That engine sure wasn't running too ''clean''
But at least Clyde Bonnie and W.D. now had a ''ride''
And they got away from Dexfield, out the other side
By now W.D had had ''enough'' and wanted to go ''clean''
He'd finally realized that Clyde was stubborn in thought
That staying was suicide, so to get away he sought
Soon he gave them ''the slip'' in another machine
And with them he was never again seen
Along the Eagle Ford Road, Bonnie and Clyde would drive
Passing Clyde's parent's 'Star Service Station'
Bonnie would throw a bottle out under the shed
A coded note inside, telling their folks when and where to head
To meet-up and spend some family-time
Clyde's father Henry was always collecting empty soda bottles
Lying around, tossed out from cars towards the shed
Was a common country way to return the empties on the fly
He'd collect them up promptly and in the empties box them rack
Lest a car drive over them and broken glass it's tire hack
On the Preston Road or Mockingbird Lane
Out at Grapevine or Irving
Or where ever ''the kids'' would name
Their folks turned up every time
To meet with them, was such an elusive ''game''
Bonnie, ever the school-play queen
Would doll Clyde up with a wig, rouge and Maybellean
Like a mighty pretty girl she made him seem
Smiling and waving Laws were totally ''took''
If only they knew who was hiding behind that ''look''
Buddy took ill shortly after his little sis Mitzy had passed
On the morning Clyde started to buy presents
Bonnie, tears in her eyes, told Clyde not to bother
Said that during that night Buddy came to her in her dream
And told her that he too had breathed his last
Unknown to Bonnie and Clyde
Someone had seen their secret rendezvous road codes
That Clyde to his mother had gave
And was informing Dallas Sheriff's Deputy Bob Alcorn
On when and where the coming rendezvous would be made
Sheriff Smoot Schmid and his deputies set about checking
The veracity of this secret information they found often correct
Unobserved they spied on Bonnie and Clyde's rendezvous
Unknowingly themselves in turn spied on
By Bureau Of Intelligence agents, tipped off by Alcorn at that
Meeting their folks out Sowers
One late November time
The ''rat'' again had dropped Deputy Alcorn a line
Hidden for ambush Smoot Schmid thought ''they're mine''
That was the closest yet Bonnie and Clyde came to dying
Bumping down the road
Bonnie firing on each side as they went
Clyde said ''you'd better pray, Bonnie''
''This is probably our last ride together''
To the north-east corner of Oklahoma they raced away fine
Vaseline- salve- hydrogen peroxide- whisky and aspirin
Bandages- gauze- medical tape and Bonnie's hairpin
To soothe burns, clean and help bullet wounds heal
A sewing needle and thread, scissors, tweezers and such
Their version of a first aid kit insomuch
Sheriff Smoot Schmid was furious
While the papers taunting sarcastically him did chide
Writing ''Sheriff Schmid escapes from Bonnie and Clyde''
Foaming, he told all who cared to hear of Bonnie's shooting
That Bonnie was as tough as the back end of a shooting gallery
Bonnie and Clyde were also livid at this ambush
Returning to Dallas after a couple of weeks had gone by
Clyde looked Schmid's address up in the Dallas City Directory
And through one night a watch on his house they kept
Blissfully unaware of his visitors, Sheriff Schmid peacefully slept
Next night Bonnie and Clyde tried their luck out Alcorn's place
And spent another night observing the Jail on Main Street
Wondering if they could spring W.D. out some way
'Till finally sister Nell talked Clyde into calming down
''Let it go'' during a December meet she did say
In jail W.D. started ''chirping'' away
He had lots he wanted to say
He liked Bonnie but had kinda had enough of Clyde
That's why he'd decided to leave before he died
And didn't want to get the ''Hot-Squat'' ''inside''
He gave up a lot of the ''inside lay''
Information the Laws wanted in every way
To help them get Bonnie and Clyde some day
And implicated them in a whole heap of sin
Desperately hoping to save his own skin
But try as they may the problem was
That Bonnie and Clyde had a ''rolling arsenal of guns''
And a ''sack-full'' of ''tricks'' and ''puns''
A moving target that would never for long in one place stay
The Laws were having real trouble trying to find a way
Bonnie and Clyde had a lovely 1933 Christmas Day
Had two big turkey dinners at a Niles cafe
Then spent the afternoon and evening out country Longview way
Shooting off roman candles- sparklers- and big cannon crackers
They really had a grand ol time they both did say
Then Raymond's brother Floyd got in touch with Clyde
Said a prisoner, Mullens, just released
Had a deal to help Raymond escape from inside
Though Clyde felt obligated to help Raymond
By now risk averse, he was unwilling to make this ride
Then Bonnie piped in, keen to do the deed
Clapped her hands and said ''Boss that'd be good''
''We'll get Raymond out, we won't go hungry anymore
He'll really make the money''
And kept prodding Clyde till he reluctantly agreed
But only to drive the getaway if Raymond first got away fine
Clyde and Bonnie drove Floyd and Mullens, to scout the place
Gave them two Colt Forty-Five automatic pistols to place
Then returned with Mullens and lay in wait
At the appointed day and time, unknowingly also with fate
On that foggy January 1934 morning out Eastham Prison Farm
Raymond made a successful break
Some other prisoners tagged along too
Raymond told them to go back right away
But Clyde told them that they could stay
Still Raymond was not keen on Henry Methvin
Said ''no, not that old boy''
Clyde said ''It's my car and I say we'll take him
Turned to a somewhat forlorn Henry
And said ''come on son get in''
So Raymond, Joe, Bybee and Henry piled into the Coupe
And along with Clyde Bonnie and Mullens, rode away
The newspapers sensationalized Bonnie and Clyde
As the great masterminds of the prison break
Outraged authorities vowed to them track down and ''take''
With it's new members the Barrow gang ''got under way''
Clyde Bonnie and Raymond, back riding together again
Bybee Joe and Henry, the new group of the gang
Raymond's sweetheart Mary O'Dare came along as well
And Bonnie's sister Billie came along for a short spell
The gang made a robbing tour of the Midwest
Bonnie cut the money
Each member of the gang got a share
Valuing friendship more then loot
Bonnie and Clyde always cut fair
But it wasn't long before ''cracks'' began to show
Billie fell for Henry, started acting his girl
Got them all in a jealous twirl
Got it on with the others too
They sent Billie home, having enough of the 'baloo
Bybee and Raymond wanted to mainly rob banks
But Clyde didn't for unnecessary risk care
Was just happy, to ride around and get by
Unhurriedly on the lookout for safe prey to snare
Impatient, Bybee decided to split and said bye
Then, after yet another tempestuous Clyde- Bonnie spat
Mary suggested to Bonnie that she poison Clyde
Steal his money and live grand on the loot
But Bonnie, though mad, was still loyal and true to Clyde
If it wasn't for Bonnie, Clyde would have died
Then Raymond moved with his gun
To shoot fellow crook Joe in the back as he slept
Clyde, ever alert, on him just in time leapt
Raymond and Mary soon left as they'd crossed the line
Caught stealing loot, sour at Bonnie getting a cut each time
So all that was now left of the Barrow gang
Was Clyde Bonnie Joe and Henry
But shortly after that Easter 1934 Grapevine ''show''
With two inquisitive motorcycle patrolmen out Grapevine
Joe, often sick, decided he'd split awhile and in Joplin lie low
Henry now wanted Bonnie and Clyde ''off his back''
He'd for some time been trying to work out how to say bye
He'd already told his fears to his father Ivy with a sigh
Old Man Ivy realizing his son ''held all the aces''
Was scheming all along to send Bonnie and Clyde high
While Banks they definitely would still prefer to rob
They were now so ''hot'', it was now a tough job
Clyde could not risk getting caught
So filling stations and grocery stores they often thought
Were safer pickings when money was short
Still, once a week or so
To some laundry they'd risk it to go
Leaving their clothes for pick-up
At a time only they'd know
Anything suspicious and they'd simply never show
Mornings would see them at the side of some road
On the running board of their car sat
Pouring water from bottles they'd filled
To rinse their face, spot wash and shave
If a stream was nearby, in it they'd bathe
At Tourist Courts they'd sometimes stop on the fly
For a warm wash, then quickly flee on by
Now too scared to stay for long at any one place
Constantly afraid of being recognized, spotted or seen
Nervous and paranoid, for to stay free they were keen
A tackle box to catch some fish
A pan to cook whatever they found
But they couldn't spend too much time messing around
The longer they stayed the greater the risk of being found
So a sack of tinned food they always kept around
Clyde brought along his sheet music and saxophone
Playing tunes while Bonnie sang the words
You'd think they were just some jolly young folks
Playing and singing by the light of a star
Lest their guns first hinted as to who they really are
They had a heart to heart talk where they agreed
That if Clyde was injured and could not run or hide
If capture became imminent
Which to Clyde meant the ''Hot-Squat'' ''inside''
Then Bonnie was to help him suicide
''No man but the undertaker will ever get me
If Officers ever cripple me
To where I see they will take me alive
I'll take my own life''
After that she was free to do as she pleased
Capture meant prison for a long time at least
Bonnie knew her ''run'' ended when Clyde died
''The Prisoner'' she wrote in poetic contemplation
Haunting of the life she would spend ''inside''
Dull the prison walls were gleaming
In the moonbeams golden glow
On that lonely July evening
Near a couple of years ago
And behind the steel barred windows
Stood a prisoner just a girl
With her fearless blue eyes weeping
Haunting for the outside world
All along the moonlit spaces
Stealthy shadows softly crept
Till at length exhausted prisoners
Closed their weary eyes and slept
Came a hand laid on her shoulder
And her buddy ill at ease
Lest her friend be too despondent
So she then began to tease
''Come my pal and sit beside me
Tell me what is on your mind
You have shared with me your pleasures
Now your sorrow should be mine''
Said the sad one for an answer
Dear my time is almost done
Now I leave you on the 'morrow
By the setting of the sun
Fair you are my little partner
What a pal you've always been
And upon my sad departure
You will take my ownings then
Send my letters back to mother
They are tokens of her love
Tell her dear to please don't worry
I will wait for her above
Tell her that I love her dearly
Make a promise now to me
That you'll go and live with mother
Make her happy when you're free
Here's a picture of my darling
I shall trust unto your keep
He was killed when I was captured
Now he rests in peaceful sleep
All those years I stayed beside him
For my love for him was true
And I was tried unjustly
For a crime I didn't do
All this time I've been in prison
Days & nites have been so blue
Till I have begun to wonder
If the tales of God are true
When the skies are grey above me
And the earth is cold & grim
And when all my tears and pleadings
Brings no answer down from him
Dawned the next relentless morning
And the sun's unpitying eye
Looked upon the haggard prisoner
Looked to see her slowly die
All day long the mournful whispers
Came from prisoners clad in grey
Mournful whispers for the deed
And whose pardon came that day
Dull the prison walls are gleaming
In the moonbeams golden light
Shadows on another convict
At the cold steel bars tonight
Many be the innocent victims
And their sorrows are not few
Who have sacrificed their freedom
For a crime they didn't do
END OF THE PRISONER
Their life on the ''run'' was a tough ''act'' to follow
Stuck in it, with no way out
Not knowing what the next hour will bring
Or if they'd live to see tomorrow
Watching ''normal'' folks, filled them with a tinge of sorrow
''Clyde's name is up, Mama
He'll be killed sooner or later
Because he's never going to give up
I love him and I'm going to be with him till the end
When he dies I want to die anyway.
Let's don't be sad
I'm in as big a spot as Clyde is
My name's up too
And though it may sound funny to you
I'm happy, just being with Clyde, no matter what comes''.
''Some times I wish
I could go back to my old life
But soon I'm happy again
Just being together with Clyde
I really just wouldn't have it any other way''
Emma said to Clyde
''You know your going to get it and get it soon
Aren't you afraid? ''
Clyde replied, ''Sure, were afraid
We never know what the next hour will bring''
''You may think this is funny, but we never go through a town
Or past a place where there may be a trap
That we don't pray we'll make it
Seeing you folks is all the pleasure
Bonnie and I have left in life now''
''Besides each other it's all we've got to live for
Whenever we get so we can't visit our people
We might as well die and be done with it
We're staying close to home
And we're coming in as long as we're alive''
So many felonies had they ''chalked up''
On their stealing and robbing spree
They knew they were sure ''gonna geddit''
When they finally got caught
Then ''freedom'' again they knew they'd never see
There was nothing else but to keep on driving and driving
Their ''car of freedom'', now their ''mobile calaboose''
Worn out, tired and road weary
Just waiting for the end of their ride to come
But vowing to fight to whatever that end may be
Those ''NRA'' membership signs popping up all over the place
They sure did identify with that ''we do our part'' slogan
Joking they should submit their NRA business plan for approval
Surely outlaws were entitled to reasonable working hours too
And more loot for their hard working conditions and fast pace
And they sure did think it was a tad rich
For Uncle Sam to grab all the gold
''Extorting'' it off of citizens at enforced unfair low exchange rate
Then cheekily offering Government sponsored jobs for IOU crap
Working effectively free, trying to earn their stolen wealth back
One thing about Bonnie was very true
That she saved the lives of more than a few
She was a moderating influence
On all those angry young men
Regardless, she stood to spend life in the ''Pen''
In their ''encounters''
Bonnie was ''scared to death''
Highly strung and nervous
But steady handed with her guns
In her mind, always was she a ''victim of circumstance''
With no choice but a ''shoot out to live''
With Laws who ''got in their way''
She knew the law would hold her an accomplice
No matter whatever she'd say
No jury would consider her presence happenstance
Bonnie and Clyde took run-ins with Laws in their stride
They routinely took their captured Laws for a ride
Two Laws to a tree they once tied
One Law helped carry a battery back for Clyde
Another ''mad as a wet hen'' didn't realize he could've died
But one old Law they took for an extra long ride
They made him camp with them country side
He said he really enjoyed them
He said they were just two young kids running free
He said ''they were very good to me''
Once released by Bonnie and Clyde
The Laws would relate the story of their ride
To bristling Bureau Of Intelligence agents all ears keen
The dossier they were compiling read more like a ''play''
With each new meticulously recorded ''scene''
They related how Bonnie and Clyde had been polite
And had treated them with consideration and care
Clyde telling them stories of his woes and ''escapades''
Bonnie asking them to tell the world
That she did NOT smoke cigars
Since the Eastham Prison Farm breakout
Seen as a direct challenge to Texas and ''Uncle Sam''
The Laws were tracking Bonnie and Clyde like ''prey''
Trying to figure out a way to ''get them''
Without anyone else getting hurt or in the way
A price they placed on Clyde's head
Some made no secret they would prefer him dead
Even suggesting doubling the reward if he was killed
And cutting it in half if he was taken alive
A violent show down was inevitable they said
They figured Clyde was running state lines
Using the ''state line rules'' to get away
Frequently changing his license plate signs
All making them more elusive prey
But the Laws vowed to get them some-day
Outraged, investigating ever current reports
With numerous sightings of Bonnie and Clyde
Reportedly seen simultaneously, all over the place
But those two ''Will-O'-The-Wisp'' bandits
Could they nowhere trace
It was one epic big ''game''
Of ''hide and seek'' and ''catch me if you can''
Laws scratching their heads over their maps
Wondering how they'd ''vanished''
When they'd blocked every road with their traps
The Laws figured out from careful study
And inside information from W.D. their ex-buddy
That Bonnie and Clyde valued family time
By tapping phones and spying
They built an information ''mine''
Right there living at the ''Star Service Station''
In Clyde's own cousin Bailey Tynes
The Bureau Of Intelligence had the perfect ''mole''
In regular clandestine meetings with a Special Agent
For four dollars a day Bailey was passing on detailed notes
While at the same time
A nosy neighbor just across the way
Was recording the comings and goings at the Station
And passing his notes on to a Special Agent
For his few dollars a day
All the while the Sheriff's Deputies and Police
Were ''staking out'' the Station by sight
Often ''curb crawling'' by
Picking up ''persons of interest'' for questioning
The ''scene'' round the Station sure was ''tight''
Still, they just couldn't catch Bonnie and Clyde in time
But meanwhile, Old Man Ivy had established a ''line''
With Sheriff Henderson Jordan through a ''pal'', John Joyner
A deal for Henry and a bounty for John
In exchange for Bonnie and Clyde
Elusive, bristling with firearms
With which they were now experts
And masters of almost every type of crime
Artists of almost every type of escape
Seasoned professionals in ''living on the run''
Now recognized as the most dangerous criminals
In the Middle and South West and possibly the Nation
Always prepared with deadly force
To meet every confrontation
Bonnie, now mentioned in the same breath as ''Belle Starr''
Raymond, who'd split away from Clyde
After challenging Bonnie's right to share in the ''takings''
Considered a ''boastful punk'' who didn't know how to hide
Who wanted to act ''Big Shot'' but was too ''yellow'' to fight
He was soon captured and back ''inside''
For Raymond, a four page letter dictated Clyde
In her beautiful neat cursive did Bonnie this letter write
Her hand so calm you would never think
That this letter was written by a girl on the brink
Expecting at any moment to be ''jumped'' and die
To Ralph, Clyde's founding partner
Jailed since Bonnie's 1932 Kaufman stint
An unsigned postcard Bonnie at Clyde's direction wrote
''Thinking of you, hope to see you soon''
Then she added, ''hope we all liv to see the flowers bloom''
Bonnie was no ordinary ''moll''
Never subservient, but ''equal'' to Clyde
Fighting in gun battles right by his side
In front of confederates, to him as ''Boss'' she referred
And Clyde took care of Bonnie as she preferred
Though her advice to little Percy Methvin
Matter of fact Bonnie gave
At a ''party'' at Black Lake with some of the Methvins
They'd attended on the Monday, two days before they died
For from a life on the run she wished him to save
''Don't never get into the mess that I've got in
For the love of a man
I'm gonna have to die with him
Always go straight
Don't never go crooked''
Monday evening in Gibsland, Bienville Parish, Louisiana
In front of Rosa Canfield's ''American Cafe''
Parked Clyde, came inside, sat and ate supper
While Bonnie remained in the car curb-side
Clyde soon finished and back to the car he went
Then Bonnie walked in all by herself
With difficulty, having a hobbled gait
Sat down alone and hurriedly ate
Paid, then her way back to the car she made
And off into the night their car did fade
Seven that next Tuesday morning
After a long nervous night
Back at Rosa's cafe
Bonnie and Clyde sat at a table
Trying to do breakfast right
Lest they not feel too desperate
Bonnie talked Clyde into going together inside
Doughnuts and coffee they ordered and sat
To share together a moment of normal life
With a knife, fork, napkin and table mat
But Rosa could see
That they were nervous and distraught
Clyde silent with head hung
Morosely gazing at his plate in thought
While Bonnie politely smiled
And asked Rosa for some small service
Thanking her kindly and flashing
Her adorable, cute, heart warming smile
That had once won over so many patrons
Back at Marco's Cafe, back awhile
Bonnie must have reminisced
Back on that ''once upon a time''
As she sat there alone
With a silent, morose Clyde
At Rosa's that morning, passing the time
Early Wednesday, after a night out Benton- Plain Dealing way
For sandwiches they again swung by
And Clyde alone went into Rosa's
While Bonnie sat in the car
Watching the world go by
Then they started off down that dusty dirt Gibsland- Sailes road
Stopping and waiting, driving some more, stopping and waiting
Just passing the time, waiting till it neared nine
So they could meet Ivy at their prearranged time
To try once more to find Henry
Sitting side by side on the front bench seat of their machine
There was little 'tween them to be said
Clyde silently observing, thinking over every small detail
Bonnie leisurely biting into her sandwich
While she read some more of her magazine
On the back seat hidden under a robe
Ten loaded Colt Forty-Five automatic pistols
A loaded old revolver
And three loaded B-A-ars
With four bags and a box of ammunition on the floor
Behind Bonnie over the right rear door
Hung a curtain of their clothes
To shield from prying pedestrian eyes
'Twas a car door wardrobe
Easy to get to, for whatever they chose
There too Clyde's alto saxophone in it's case sat
Along with several pairs of various States 1934 car ''tags''
Bonnie's makeup and various useful items of this and that
'Twas a professional minimalist ''outlaw kit out''
Fine tuned from two years ''on the scat''
Just past nine Clyde set his foot hard on the gas
Raising their speed to a brisk clip of forty five
With a high pitched whine like a sewing machine the motor raced
Powering their brand new stolen Deluxe Fordor
Nineteen Thirty Four, Cordoba Grey, Ford V-Eight
They stopped by a filling station at Mount Lebanon
Wondering if they should tank some more gasoline
Didn't like the look of the attendant who emerged
So they just drove away
Deciding they'd stop at some other station along the way
Toying with a packet of Camels over her road map
Her diamond ring flashing and flickering, about to light a cigarette
A Colt 45 pistol on her lap and her 20 gauge shotgun at her feet
Wearing her red high heeled shoes, and a red and white hat
The sequined sleeve cuffs of her red dress, so cute the eyes met
Dressed was Clyde in a blue dress shirt and suit pants
Beige hat on his head, suit jacket slung over his seat back
An art deco 'Bulova' dress watch and a diamond stick pin
With octagon framed sunglasses atop his nose
His 16 gauge shotgun at left and pistol in belt tucked in
Racing along that Mount Lebanon- Sailes piney woods stretch
Watching to spot Ivy for their prearranged rendezvous
Their ''little grey machine'' nosed over a hill
Flashing it's one- five- dash- three- six- eight
Nineteen thirty four Arkansas plate
Racing down the dip and starting up the rise
Ahead they spotted Ivy and his truck
Standing by the side of the road at the top of that rise
A sigh of relief at yet another successful rendezvous
Gripping their guns, on alert as usual, they were not late
That fateful day, nosing over that hill
They came racing into sight
Riding right up
To a ''broken down truck''
With one wheel on the ground
Beside which stood Old Man Ivy
That ''stool pigeon'' ''spotter'' and ''rat''
Who last night had told Sheriff Jordan
He'd be meeting them on this road
On the 'morrow, morning, 'tween nine and ten
''Have you found Henry? ''
Ivy called to them as they stopped
To the six Laws hiding in the brush
THIS was the definite ''spot''
Alcorn was especially mad
Two rifle shots local Deputy Oakley fired at Clyde's head
And Clyde was dead ''on the spot''
Bonnie screamed like a panther, to the floorboard she did pitch
As Clyde's foot slipped off the clutch
And the car began to creep towards the road's left side ditch
Then the posse ''let the car have it''
Bombarding it with volleys of fire from all of their ''rods''
In the noise and through the gun smoke of that deafening din
The car seemed to momentarily hover and it started to smoke
Hinton ran out the back of the car shooting at it from behind
The guns fell silent and Hamer snapped a new clip into his rifle
His pistol fully loaded for it he astutely hadn't fired
Moving through the brush he carefully approached the car
Concerned, Gault called out to Hamer
''Careful Cap, they might be possumin''
First satisfying himself that Clyde was dead
Hamer came round the front of the car to meet Hinton Ted
All the while watching eagle eyed through the windshield
For any sign of movement inside the car
Bonnie was folded over, between her knees was her head
Hamer motioned to Hinton to go for Bonnie's door
Suddenly up Bonnie popped towards her door, pistol in hand
To ambush the Law at her door with her fully loaded Colt 45
But Hamer outwitting her, observing for movement, beat her to it
Firing off a volley straight through the windshield into Bonnie
Hamer shot Bonnie's pistol right out of her hand
Then shot at Bonnie's head
A bullet went into the side of her mouth
Another into her mouth and out the top of her head
Without Hamer, Hinton, out of ammo, could have been dead
Then Hinton opened Bonnie's door
On opening it, Bonnie began slumping out towards him
Hinton caught her, still breathing in his arms
He pushed her back over and leaned her up against Clyde
And noticed her breathing then suddenly died
Hamer remarked to Ted
''I hate to bust the cap on a woman
Especially when she was sitting down
However if it wouldn't have been her
It would have been us''
Hinton shot a roadside movie of Bonnie
His one-time ''wet dream'' from Marco's Cafe
As she sat ''riding side by side'', propped up against Clyde
With her dead eyes looking out at him
While the other Laws rifled through the ''tin''
Bonnie's right hand hung from outstretched arm
Her pistol shot out of it, no more poetry would it pen
A bullet through the side of her mouth
No more would her cupid's bow lips purse or smile
Her spine shot through, freezing her in her last ''style''
From there, in the company of a ''convoy''
Of some two-hundred cars
Of ''gawkers'' ''ghouls'' and ''sim'''
They were towed into Arcadia
For coroner Dr Wade and the rest of the ''admin''
But not before they were first mobbed
By the children of an elementary school
That they passed along their way
The children swarmed the car
The teachers a ''shock lesson'' in crime, was good did say
The children clambered on the running boards
Poked their heads inside
Kind of said ''hi'' and ''bye'' to Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie loved children so much
She would have hugged each one if only she were alive
From nearby Ruston rushed undertaker Darby
And fulfilled his promise to Bonnie and Clyde
He'd once by them been ''taken for a ride''
And Bonnie had jokingly had him promise
To embalm her when she died
Of a nude Bonnie the photographer took ''boobie shots''
''Why let it go to waste? ''
The local newspapers ''plastered them''
On their very front page next day
Such was their ''dollar sign'' haste
Even Sheriff Smoot Schmid
Flew over by plane from Dallas Love Field
Accompanied by his chief deputy Bill Decker too
Such a high level V-I-P delegation
Bonnie and Clyde would be tickled pink if they'd knew
The Governor of Louisiana
Weighed in with congratulations
To Sheriff Henderson Jrdan he gave his salutations
As did J. Edgar Hoover himself on high
For Bonnie and Clyde had really put the F in his B.I.
The mood in Arcadia was festive
On that twenty third day of May
After one of the most colorful
And spectacular manhunts
The Nation had seen, up to that day
In death, a smile slowly spread on Bonnie's face
As if taunting all present there to see
As if saying to them all as she lay there lifeless
''I won and I'm at peace now
And a star as big as me y'all will never be''
That night a weeping father and a mournful brother
Left that ''Circus Maximus'' behind
Taking with them, one a son, the other his ''little sis''
In two undertakers ambulances, racing through the night
Back to Dallas, for separate burials, ''in kind''
There, for Bonnie and Clyde
Life insurance was paid
Their deaths held as ''accident''
The full policy payouts
To their parents were made
Oh, it was a ''Roman Holiday''
Complete with ice-cream and hot-dog stands
As ''tens of thousands''
Filed past their caskets
Heads bowed and hats in hand
To pay their respects
Or just ''drop in'' for a ''look''
At two colorful outlaws
How could they resist?
For Bonnie and Clyde were such a ''hook''!
At sundown on Friday
Clyde was laid to rest
Beside his brother Buck
There he was stuck
''Gone But Not Forgotten''
Even a plane flew over
Dropping flowers for him
The underworlds best
For he was their ''kin''
But with all of his sin, did he win?
Dawned the next morning
Still, there Bonnie lay
Dressed in an ice blue negligee
In her hands, a small bouquet of lilies
That was expressly to her sent
By an anonymous person
With the special request
That she be buried with them
Clasped in her hands
Held to her breast
To the strains of ''Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere''
In the early Saturday afternoon
From McKamy-Campbell Funeral Home
Close by the Dallas Fair Park
They took Bonnie on her last ride
To Fish Trap Cemetery
Where Emanuel Santerre his burial permission had gave
So that in this ''Old French Cemetery''
Of his fellow La Reunion pioneers
There Bonnie the outlaw could have her grave
Along with her immigrant German grandfather Frank
Her soldier uncle Samuel, Company F
three hundred and fifty ninth Infantry, ninetieth division
And her niece and nephew Mitzy and Buddy
With the Krause farm, Bonnie's childhood home, just nigh
There the trees could with the wind mournfully sigh
No more running and hiding
And crying for her Mama
Or worrying she'd get the ''rap''
''It's all over now, THANK GOD''
Sighed her heartbroken mother as she wept
Emma consoled herself
''He had her for two years
Look what it got her
He's not going to have her anymore
She's all mine now''
And recalled their meeting last
Out near Nacogdoches
Just twenty short days past
There Bonnie had sat
So young, so lovely, only twenty three
Bonnie had asked about ''Sonny Boy''
The white rabbit, she'd last meeting to Emma gave
Representing the unborn child she'd stopped to carry
For they'd gotten too ''hot''
And to try give a life, Bonnie could risk not
With the May moonlight
Sifting through Bonnie's yellow hair
Making shadows on her cheeks
As she talked calmly of death
Like a topic not worth of despair
''Now, Mama, don't get upset
Why shouldn't we talk it over?
You know it, I know it
The whole of Texas knows it''
Bonnie had looked up with a funny smile
As if she were much much older
And wise beyond the years of mortals
As if she had in her mind
Already transcended death for awhile
Into Emma's hand Bonnie had pressed a wad of ''hot'' cash
As she'd always done at all their meetings
And this time also a few pages torn from a 1933 diary
On which she'd written out a little poem
That she'd named ''The Trail's End''
THE TRAIL'S END
You've read the story of ''Jesse James''
Of how he lived and died
If you're still in need
Of some thing to read
Here's the story of ''Bonnie and Clyde''
Now Bonnie and Clyde are the ''Barrow Gang''
I'm sure you all have red
How they rob and steal
And how those who ''squeal''
Are usually found dying or dead
There's lots of untruth to their ''write ups''
They're not so merciless as that
Their nature is raw
They hate all the ''laws''
The ''stool pidgeons'' ''spotters'' and ''rats''
They class them as cold blooded Killers
They say they are ''heartless'' and ''mean''
But I say this with pride
That I once knew Clyde
When he was honest, upright and clean
But the law fooled around
Kept taking him down
And ''locking him up'' in a ''cell''
Till he said to me I'll never be free
So I'll meet a few of 'em in ''Hell''
This road was so dimly lighted
There was no highway signs to guide
But they made up their minds
If the roads were all ''blind''
They wouldn't give up till they died
The road gets dimmer and dimmer
Some times you can hardly see
Still it's fight man to man
And do all you can
For they know they can never be free
If they try to act like a citizen
And rent them a nice little flat
About the third nite
They're invited to fight
By a ''sub gun's'' ''rat-tat-tat''
If a policeman is killed in Dallas
And they have no clues for a guide
If they can't find the ''fiend''
They just wipe the slate clean
And ''hang it on'' Bonnie and Clyde
Two crimes been done in America
Not accredited to the ''Barrow mob''
For they had no hand
In the Urschel kidnap demand
Or the Kansas City Depot ''job''
A newsboy once said to his Buddy
I wish old Clyde would get ''jumped''
In this awful hard times
We might make a few dimes
If 5 or 6 laws would get ''bumped''
The police haven't got the report yet
Clyde sent a wireless today
Saying we have a peace flag of white
We stretch out at night
We have joined the ''N-R-A''
They don't think they're too tough or too desperate
They know that the law always wins
They've been shot often before
But they do not ignore
That ''death are the wages of Sin''
From heart break some people have suffered
From weariness some people have died
But take it all in all
Our troubles are small
Till we get like Bonnie and Clyde
Some day they'll ''go down'' together
And they'll bury them Side by Side
To few it means grief
To the law it's relief
But it's death to Bonnie and Clyde
END OF THE TRAIL'S END
Bonnie's just written a poem
The Story of Bonnie and Clyde
So I will try my hand at Poetry
With her riding by my side
As we travel down the highway
Never knowing where it will End
Never very much money
And not even a friend
As we travel through the city
Looking for something to Rob
Bonnie will always help me
When I am casing a Job
Sometimes we travel for days
Before we can find the right place
And then we would always wonder
If there would be any shooting in the place
We don't want to hurt anyone
But we have to steal to eat
And if it's a shoot out to live
Then that's the way it will have to be
We have never shot at anyone
That wasn't after us
And to kill someone that is after you
You are lucky if you don't get it first
We have kidnapped some people
And tied them to a tree
But not so tight that after we were gone
They could not get themself free
We are going home tomorrow
To look in on the folks
We will meet them out near Grapevine
If the Laws don't get there first
Now days that's all we live for
Just one more visit home
For we know that someday they'll get us
And then it will be So-Long
We will drive by the Station tomorrow
Throw a bottle out under the shed
To meet us out near Irving
If they don't start scattering some led
We pray every town that we pass through
To forgive sinners like Bonnie and Clyde
And please God just let us make it
Through this town to the other side
Some day we will go home forever
And they will Bury us side by side
The grief that we brought to our families
Will pass as the years go by
Now that's not as good as Bonnie's
So I guess I will call it a flop
But please God just one more visit
Before we are put on the spot
END OF Clyde's REPLY
On that very last meeting Billie had set her mind
On being Henry's girl and riding with the gang
Emma was dead against it, said ''hell no''
Billie was very cross with Emma for not giving her blessing
She appealed to Bonnie, her opinion she wanted to know
''I just wouldn't pay any attention to Mama if I were you
No, I'd just go right ahead and do as I pleased
I wouldn't mind Mama at all
You just go right ahead and see where you land''
Was Bonnie's reply to Billie wanting to take Henry's hand
To her memory Emma wrote her daughter Bonnie
The book ''Fugitives'', together with Clyde's sister Nell
And on her grave the most beautiful epitaph
The kind only a mother can write
For a beautiful daughter she once had
'' As the flowers are all made sweeter
By the sunshine and the dew
So this old world
Is made brighter
By the lives of folks like you''
THE END OF A EULOGY TO BONNIE PARKER
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem