Cowboy Buddha Saturdays were all we had.

From Author’s Archive

Six year old mornings were easy
eyes wide at
the first wink of dawn.

I would sneak from bed
not waking a smaller brother
the breeze bouncing
blackbird harmonies
against the window.

My first dance on Saturday was tip-toed
scuffed cowboy boots in hand
to the television
that held the place of Buddha
in our living room.

Sitting Indian cross-legged style
on ancient carpet
I silently unfolded newspaper before me
to catch flecks of wax flung
from the worn and darkened toothbrush
as the picture machine warmed
to a glow from its sleep time respite.

It was Howdy-Doody, Sky King
and Fury that taught me
to shine those proud boots
with red stitched eagles on uppers
that were covered on Saturdays
by legs of Levis
stiff and fuzzy in their newness.

Never occurred to me then
to stuff the pant legs inside
like I do today
and share those wing spreads
with my cowboy friends
real cowboys didn’t.

I learned that from my Saturday Dad
and he was a real cowboy
drove pickup trucks and bulldozers
when he wasn’t steering horses.

His knock would sound minutes
after Fury theme music faded
into laundry detergent commercial break.

I grabbed folded chaps
tall straw hat and faded denim jacket
while he leaned against the porch post
rolling a cigarette one handed
waiting to haul me off to
Saturday’s cowboy Buddha heaven.

Pulling the perfectly rolled Stetson
down on my ears as his pickup
slipped away from the curb
and he said “Howdy Kid.”

A country-western tune
about lost love filled the cab
along with the smooth smoke
from his hand-rolled.

The shiny polish on boots
reflecting a tooth-missing grin
on a boy-man face.

Wandering in the Mystery, of Life’s Second Half. A grateful traveler.

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