30 Poems in 30 Days

30 Poems in 30 Days
A Project for National Poetry Writing Month

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 20 A Travel Poem

Farewell Levon Helm! 

Where She Has Gone
Ashes of of laughter
the ghost is clear
why do the best things always disappear?
    --”Ophelia”  Written by Robbie Robertson,
           made famous by Levon Helm and The Band

Your topaz voice rode shotgun in my pickup truck when I ran away to join the cactus
that winter after the baby didn’t happen and he left me. Survival, the long and the all 
of it: Tucson Best Western bar on Christmas Eve, the gentleman’s club next door,
strippers and the not-an-axe-murderer-he-promised guy who escorted us drunk
to midnight mass, where we tongue kissed like acolytes and gave each other
the sign of peace. We were all hiding out for the holidays. When I broke open
my tent in Sonora, Coyotes brought their captives to the flaps, and I ransomed
them with G-chords and cassette tapes.  We went into town and got wasted
on creosote and rumble strips. After, at Reenie’s place in LA, that girl and I bashed
our way through every tune on Anthology, me on margarita, her on guitar, til I could
laugh (an ashy laugh) at the sad little ghost camping in my backpack, the one
who wouldn't disappear.