Thursday, August 16, 2012

Greenough Girls

Nineteen twenty-eight
Billings, Montana
Two slender, trim ladies
Flipping through a magazine
Quit the world of waiting tables
To fork the broncs
And spur their way around the World
In satin shirts they made at home

Alice tipped her hat to Kings
Had tea with Queens
Rode fighting bulls in Spain
Stayed Down Under
Went to Cattlemen's Picnics
Just to buck jump
With no stirrups
In funny flat saddles

Margie married Heavy
Raised a baby in a tepee
On trains--in Model T's
They bought Little Blue Rocket
in Canada
After that the boy rode with them
Up the arena ramp to the thrill and roar
Of Madison Square
Cheyenne, San Francisco, Boston
Red Lodge, Tucson...

There they are
Marge and Alice, Grandad's sisters
Two tiny trim ladies in neat clothes, big hats
Evidence that for a price
Plenty of will
The World can be Won

As I've grown--their blood in my veins
Burns and wants to

Nineteen thirty-four
Billings, Montana
Doris Corwin, college Girl
Refined, determined and lovely
Stepped off a train to marry her cowboy 
In Hardin in a square, bare room
With one brass spittoon
Grandad, cowboss, carried his bride to a tepee
Set a ways away at the wagon
And finished Fall Works

Already they knew 
That there would be family
Fine homes, good ranches and horses
And Grandmother built an empire
Of propriety and pride
Taught her daughters literature
Elegance--how to cook for thirty cowboys
With grace and honor in a genteel home

She frowned at daughters 
Who cast eyes at aunts and glory
Who thought of a World not won
And with her determination--knowledge of right
Kept them at the house 
Where she knew they belonged

My God she is strong

There she is
Grandma Greenough, Grandad's sweetheart
Loving, true, deep-hearted and solid
Awesome as a mountain in a handsome woman way
Evidence that quiet dignity
Is priceless
And can be done

As I've grown--her blood in my veins
Runs deep, and proud, and calm
And wants to stand

So here I stand
And I look both ways
Wild adventure and solid refinement
And I want both ways
Respectable pride, and glorious fame
With only one path that I can ride

So I try 
To weave between
To slip around and through
My Models of Life

To live up to 
Those Greenough Girls