Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Empty Small Town Hotels

Red Shuttleworth




Empty Small Town Hotels

Empty burgundy bottles, cracked in half
buffalo bone buttons, newspaper sheets filled
with the sporting exploits of Bat Masterson,
the whispers of whitened skeletons serve
as insulation between rotted-bed empty rooms.

At the front desk, you can knuckle wood
until your wrist throbs and not get
a night's rest.  In the summer... warmth.
Come winter... frozen feather pillows.

Doors open and slam shut on their own...
no need for booze-clogged honeymooners.
The dusty first floor cattlemen's restaurant
serves pasture-found Hereford jawbones.
The copper piping's been salvaged.
Potatoes have been hurled through windows.

I'll drive us there next spring.
All that shined yesterday can glow again.
We'll barge in, tip our cowboy hats
to the ladies, sing some Hank Williams,
steal back forsaken years with laughter.

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