I Loved You, John Wayne
I loved you John Wayne!
I wished you were my father
or maybe an older brother
who’d tutor me to be tough
when manners weren’t enough
and toughness was needed
that civility be heeded
and not to brag or complain.
O I loved you John Wayne!
As soon as I was old enough
to earn the price of admission
I saw your films in succession
at the first run houses down
in the big deal part of town
and enshrined each one on a list
taped to my bedside wall
and read about the ones I’d missed.
Shucks, I loved you most of all!
Fort Apache and Red River
took pride of place on the page;
they’d eaten up my weekly wage.
I missed the Yellow Ribbon;
I hoped I’d be forgiven.
At the Rio and the Broad
(in a dicey neighborhood)
I atoned with films you’d done
before I was even born.
Western after Western
and tales of oil and whiskey
and scheming ladies, O so risky!
I hoped I’d be excused
when I compromised my muse
by adding well-built gals
to Duke and all his pals.
Montez, Russell, and Lake
made my hormones quake.
O I loved you, John Wayne.
I could feel your bashful pain
When the pretty lady roped you
and hat in hand you’d bow,
the furrow deepening on your brow,
and utter monosyllables plus “Ma’am,”
no longer a ram, more like a lamb.
O I shared you pain, John Wayne!
And still I loved you John Wayne,
your true grit and donnybrook,
your menacing brow, the look
that said, “Enough, my friend.
“This bull is going to end!”
You swaggered? (not quite it--
as if your boots didn’t quite fit?)
You took him by the horns and shook;
Plomp! Down went the snook!
How I loved you, John Wayne!
And I love you still when again I see
the doughty Duke on my smart TV
as much as Papa’s lone old man,
with fish chewed down to the bone
loved Joltin’ Joe Dimaggio
when the Clipper’s legs began to go
and he was hobbled by his heel.
John Wayne, you were the real deal.
Copyright © Bill Keen | Year Posted 2019
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