Friday, August 27, 2010


On a Greyhound
headin' out past every place
I was sure to pass
again a hundred times.
Let out of Amarillo
and floatin' right under
the clouds--past Claude and
Clarendon and Childress.

Up front sat Will
recallin' how it was
when all twelve of 'em
grew up in the depression
and now spread to the wind,
But Mama still in Quanah.

Sammy, across the aisle,
in a real gray-green uniform,
on his way home to Vernon,
let me look at little
school pictures of his
sister and brother--
fine white smiles in
rich black faces.

In Wichita Falls,
the Preacher came aboard,
holdin' the hand of
a tiny blue-eyed girl.
He was takin' her home,
he said, to her Granma, in
Denton county.  She'd
been picked up by her Daddy
at school and he'd taken her
half-way 'cross the state
'for the Rangers got him.
He'd been on the run for over
a month, and her grandfolks'd
been worried sick!

After Bowie, Lazda told us
about that gothic castle on
Decatur's hill and the
old gray woman who comes out
every morning at ten
on her balcony between the
twin spires to make a
speech to anyone or anything
(real or imagined)
who can hear her.
She ends it every time by
firing her double barelled
shotgun, then turns and
goes in to wait
until tomorrow.
Lazda said oldtimers
could recall parties they used
to have up there...once even had
a Ball and invited the Governor.
Why, she said, it was their
slaves who quarried the stones used to
build that monstrous courthouse
which still holds dominion, just
as the family always had
until they all died off--
all but the old gray lady
and her younger sister.
That same sister, well past
thirty, ran off to Houston with
some Midland oilman and left
the town to whoever'd have it.

That long tale brought us in
sight of Dallas which looked like a
Camelot kingdom, and
statewide was reputed to house
oil and cattle barons
computer castles, exchange towers
and the only decent dress store
in the whole damned state.

© Gay Reiser Cannon All Rights Reserved


  1. everyone has a story to tell that is what is wonderful about making friends...a delightful read...and be the trip passed quickly...

  2. this was awsome, the imagery was superb :)

  3. very well done, was on a 20 odd hour trip on greyhound myself couple weeks back.
    you captured the experience exceedingly well

  4. Thanks everyone. Glad you enjoyed the trip.

  5. Thanks Brian. Looking forward to a great OneshotWednesday this week!

  6. nice. glad you put this one the lives on that bus...the little girl whose daddy took her stole my heart...happy one shot!

  7. Gay you weave a really good yarn. I don't say that often. Great One Shot. Bisous, Love and Light, Sender

  8. ditto on the awesome....wonderful tale - would love to hear it with a deep Texan accent..sitting in a coffee shop...miles away from nowhere...bkm

  9. An historic spin through Texas. Loved it.

  10. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the bus ride. I have enough of these to do a little chap book if I ever get around to it. Texas is changing and they capture a bit of the history. Thanks all.

  11. @bkm - well don't know about deep; but for sure I've got an accent. Come on down, I'll buy you a cuppa joe!

  12. Neat telling of story and generating a sense of time, place, culture and people. I enjoyed reading it. - Bill

  13. THat was too beautiful..loved it,touched Bea! lovely one shot :)

  14. This sounds like home. You really nailed it.

  15. That is some travelogue -- and it does make you wonder about the people sitting across the aisle on a bus, a train, a plane -- and what their stories are. Each of these people int he poems would have their own full-length poem. Nice one.

  16. Dearest Beachanny,

    You got me at the Greyhound coach - and your story mingled with my memories...

  17. Thanks to all above; actually these were true stories and I'm the kind of traveler who draws out stories. I don't try either. I just get the greatest tales on all my journeys. Probably has to do with 'going solo' but I think this was my first solo trip after college. Thanks for the approval; it's probably not a defined poem, but not a short story either. I don't know what you call this stuff, but I have written a fair amount of it. Thanks again.

  18. Glad I could come along for the ride. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  19. I enjoyed this so much - glimpses into other lives, the sharing of tidbits that fascinate, the short and shared intimacy of a bus ride to a shared destination where everyone scatters. You have a keen eye and a keen ear and a lovely writing voice.

  20. I was on that bus with you looking at the 'fine white smiles on the rich black faces'.

  21. oh no.i just wrote a huge comment and it didnt take!!!!!..i loved the tale, first and foremost, beautifully crafted and well told that put me in a place i have longed to see my friend i have a heck of a lot of family that live in El Paso and Dallas...the road trips my dad has been on sounded very sure wrote great!!!!cheers pete

  22. Isn't Texas, and things Texas unique? Loved it.....

  23. Amazing story on the long long road...

  24. Thanks guys. Glad you liked it.

    It was one of those "on the road" things..just my take on it.

    Ah Pete, sorry your first note didn't go up. Wish you could bring your family here and I'd show you the state. Amarillo, my home town is as different from Port Aransas where I live now as Houston is from where you live. I have seen every little bit of Texas except the Big Bend, but that's my next road trip. I'll put up pictures when I go.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  25. Enjoyed this bus ride and all the little tales :)

  26. thanks for taking us with you on this trip!

  27. See what happens when you talk to people! Thanks for dropping by to read my poem. Hope your week goes well

  28. Great story, felt like I was right there.

  29. you really paint people in this, friend. well done.

  30. Thanks for the trip through Texas...
    This absolutely Rocked!

  31. Oh all this praise--makes me want to put up Texas Girls. But I'll wait awhile. I have some new stuff for next week.

  32. A ride through time
    along the way
    snap shots of lives
    on a given day
    shared moments of
    what new friends say
    Home ward bound
    or going away

  33. @desk49 I love that - a poem for a poem, beautifully said, tight and apt. Just the ticket. Thanks for coming by.

  34. written like a writer
    I enjoyed every person's tale

  35. I had fun reading this, wonderful ride and here you were saying you're not good at writing, you're :)

  36. Loved this one..almost like a song :)

  37. This is a complete story unfolding. Nice job on this.