Visiting the Town Too Tough to Die
By Martha Deed
Ladies of a certain age wear cowboy hats
their men belly up to the hostess' desk
with a swagger left over from 35-cent
Westerns at the Broadway Skouras
Theatre as if still rolling from the motion of
their trusty steeds beneath them
not the silver Lexus they parked at the lip
of the reconstructed wooden sidewalk
down the dirt-blown street next to
Big Nose Kate's Saloon -- their fingers
strangers to a rope or saddle wrapped
around martinis while the rest of us drink
ale, and most of us at the Longhorn Restaurant
in Tombstone, Arizona, older than the oldest
citizens lying outside of town at Boot Hill
under piles of polished stones
the soil too thin for digging
MARTHA DEED lives in North Tonawanda. She will be one of the "Five Women" reading at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Just Buffalo Literary Cafe at the Center for Inquiry, 1310 Sweet Home Road, Amherst.
By Jane Sadowsky
You know that one gift you didn't get in childhood,
that Red Ryder BB gun?
This isn't about that.
It's not about boxes, bows or gift wrap,
balloon Santas, fit for the Macy's parade,
tethered to your front lawn.
This isn't just for one season.
Still, it's the hush of an early morning snowfall,
trees limned in white,
and the only tracks, shallow and pointed,
lacing your lawn like a doily
between the bush and the bird feeder.
It's the neighbor who invites you to the Christmas play
at the rehab, while her tethered cat winds round your legs,
sniffs your fingers for cream cheese.
It's the man with the happy-eared dog, stopping to talk about Orioles,
the ones that sing and fly, not the ones who bat and pitch,
as you pick out their nests against the sky.
It's the sun, golden on the icicles, giving them grandeur in their final hours,
even as it melts their hearts.
Weeping their love, they fall away.
JANE SADKOWSKY lives in North Tonawanda. She will be one of the "Five Women" reading at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Just Buffalo Literary Cafe at the Center for Inquiry, 1310 Sweet Home Road, Amherst.