By R. T. Smith b. 1947
In Stetson and calico vest, spandex   
and Calvin jeans, she was the best
at the bar. Does Gucci make range boots?   
Hers were snakeskin with heels
like railroad spikes. The rest you could   
guess: eyes the blue of West Texas yonder,   
complexion like hot coffee with cream.   
All night I gave her slack but kept
my dally-knot tight, hoping she’d like   
the stories I could tell—drunk Indian   
twins fighting with icepicks in Cheyenne,   
Carolina moonshine, deer breaking open   
watermelons out of crazy hunger.
Regular as breath she’d say, “Damn!” or   
“Yes!” and stomp a heel through sawdust   
to the pine floor. I nearly had the rest   
of my life planned out, downing Coors   
and forking out for God-knows-whose,   
till a dude in a Brooks Brothers suit   
moved in, flashing a wad of Andrew   
Jacksons like cold cash grew on trees,   
and she said to me—she fairly spat it—
“Get lost!” So I did, prostrate all night   
in a roadside hay field, watching the sky   
sleek as a coal-black stallion’s flank.   
Damn if every star wasn’t a spur
burning its wheels into my foolish eyes.

R. T. Smith, “Cowgirl” from The Hollow Log Lounge. Copyright © 2003 by R. T. Smith. Used with the permission of the poet and the University of
Illinois Press.

Source: The Hollow Log Lounge (2003)

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Poet R. T. Smith b. 1947

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Unrequited Love

Poetic Terms Persona

 R. T. Smith


Poet R.T. (Rod) Smith was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in Georgia and North Carolina. He earned a BA in philosophy from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and an MA in English from Appalachian State University. His collections of poetry include From the High Dive (1983), The Cardinal Heart (1991), Hunter-Gatherer (1996), Trespasser: Poems (1996), Split the Lark: Selected Poems (1999), Messenger (2001), Brightwood . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Unrequited Love

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Persona

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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