Mythic Beaver

Yes, I’ll haul your ashes
back to Oklahoma,
the Lord G-d of Abraham
riding shotgun.
I got the coffee sweats already,
just Him and me on I-55,
you in a box on the seat between.

We aim for that dent in the dust
where your pa was born
in a sod stable
and your ma minced a snake
with a garden hoe;
that place the trappers named
Beaver, not thinking, for once,
of women.

Reminded too much of Texas,
G-d and I both hate
the cottonwoods
stuck to a high sky.
We share a drink,
swap our lies,
and sift out what we can
from the radio.

Your name comes up
and G-d’s eyes get dusty.
When Gene Pitney sings
the “Sh’ma Yisrael,”
G-d stares out,
that box of ashes inside His jacket,
as close as He can hold it.

There’s Beaver at nightfall,
and bean burritos
to wash down the beer.
We scatter your ashes
where we stop to pee,
the Lord G-d’s laugh
steady as a train blows,
soft as lightning across the panhandle.

More Poems by Catherine Field