and post notes and photos about your poem like Leo Larry Amadore.
I often think, now, of my Grandfather and those times in south Louisiana and I regret not having had more contact with him during his last years. He took me in when I had nowhere else to go. Only very few (close relatives) will understand that last comment. The road mentioned is La. Hwy 317, the Bayou Sale road in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, which starts at Centerville and ends at Burns Point.
Trees still shade the road
where Gramps and I once rode
in his old green car -- I drove --
on dusky early evenings
in my fifteenth year.
We stopped, as he insisted, at spots
where an armadillo scratched
among the tender greenery
I was dispatched,
with Gramps' strong wood cane,
to kill a pesky armored creature
by striking hard, once, upon its snout.
Gramps waited in the car,
called encouragement or condemnation:
"That's it! Hit him hard!" or
"Can't you do a damn thing right?"
He knew I didn't like to kill
but was determined to toughen up
That hard old man was not accustomed
to being crossed or contradicted.
But part of him was tender,
and he had a sense of what was right
in the bayou country of his day.
How could I tell him that I hated
killing just to please him?
Often, I killed, then killed again,
although, at times, I'd miss the snout
or be slow to follow up,
and permit an armadillo to escape.
Sometimes, I'd temper force with moderation --
I'd stun the creature, grab the tail,
fling it far into dense bushes
to revive and live another day.
My grandfather eyed me darkly then,
but often kept his peace.
He gave me the treatment
I gave those stunned armadillos.
Could he have felt the same
toward me as I toward them?
Copyright © Leo Larry Amadore | Year Posted 2011
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