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Posts Tagged ‘liver’

Sonnet 17 – The Crop From Wild Oats

The prodigal may set a course away
From what his raising guided him to be;
Yet, in the end, he finds to his dismay
A path embarked may bark, bite fatally.

What smoker now knows not the fatal chance?
What drinker had not seen the stagg’ring drunk?
What addict did not know how addicts dance
To tune of drugs; have to mere puppets sunk?

We pay for foolish habits soon or late,
And though those cunning pleasures ply their wares,
It’s best to have good sense, anticipate:
We’ll pay Old Billy for our youthful tares.

Those in the world who choose to sow wild oats
Must face the fact they’re followed by wild goats.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

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………………………The County Line

In Texas in the sixties, there were many counties dry.
Morality was voted in; morality was high,
And alcohol was still a scourge kin to bubonic plague.
So folks dammed up their counties like the Dutch dammed up the
Hague.
Thus, alcohol was quite a haul for those who thought it fine –
The nearest place was store built just outside the county line.

The whispered word in school, in hallways, was a worried cry,
As wet behind the ears would see a weekend coming, dry.
The partiers would plot and plan like generals in war:
Who’d get the weekend’s ammo from the nearest liquor store?
Can cousin go, or College Joe, or old man Valentine?
Who’ll make the trip on Saturday out to the county line?

And oft, at desperation’s depth, a single name arose:
Joe Barry’d buy the booze because Joe Barry always goes
Since he’s an alcoholic, called the town’s official drunk,
And hauling booze for minors helped to pay for his own junk.
With bit of bread and bit of dread and bit of hope as shrine,
Someone’d be sent to ask Joe Barry ‘bout the county line.

Joe Barry always answered “yes”; that had no one concerned.
It was the lessons life had taught, that many youth had learned,
That old Joe Barry was a friend, but in the end, who knew
If Joe would get an order, and he’d really follow through.
For though Joe Barry had a tongue, he’d drowned his only mind,
And he could not be trusted on a trip to county line.

The sheriff once chased Joe Barry as he left the liquor store.
Joe tried to run but wound up serving seven months or more.
More often, though, he had DT’s and simply couldn’t go,
Or drank too much on Friday night and next day didn’t slow.
He’d take a ten, forget just when, or who, or beer, or wine,
And he’d return, not wet, but dry, from trip to county line.

Despite all that, and even more, sometimes it had to be
Joe Barry’s turn to make the run to end sobriety.
Because it seemed that life laid siege with five long days of school,
And all the thoughts of breaking free made some mouths water,
drool.
With fingers crossed and hearts embossed with hope of weekend
‘shine,
They’d pay Joe Barry for a trip out to the county line.

Now old Joe Barry’s dead and gone; his liver didn’t last.
Who knows how many trips he made before his time had passed?
And many were the girls who lost their virtue to the booze;
Some accidents still haunt the sheriff – teen deaths that made the
news.
And all the youth are aging now; truth? – many in decline;
Some hastened on a downward path by trips to county line.

Morality has slipped away like all the years slip by,
With younger youth now looking for the booze or other high.
Joe Barry Juniors now comply, who follow father’s feet;
Themselves forced by the fetters of their once just weekend treat.
The only way they vary is Joe Barry’s miles were nine –
The liquor store is closer now than at the county line.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2014.

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