A Country Love Song

she was livin’ in the heart of a country
love song gone bad
with the too-tight jeans
the broken-down truck
the sultry-prom queen
who steals the milkmaid’s fuck

He’s a god in the west
with his big silver buckle
in his rawhide boots
that kick in the door
when he comes home
after a night of drinks
with his little bottle buddy
― Jack Daniels

it’s a man’s world out
there in the back forty pasture – even
the grey suits and striped ties
the pressure is on to be
old school
take a shot
join the ten gallon
white hat club
of stand-tall men
suck in your gut
the little lady at home
the little wife with no name
the youn’ uns line up
with their tickets in hand
waiting for the show
the opening warm-up act –
“Ma!” “Ma!” “Meatloaf!”

there’s whiskey on his breath
and bile on his tongue
the traffic got him revved
some prick cut him off
down on Blackfoot Trail
on his way to the Lonesome Dove Pub

He’s a god in the west
with his big silver buckle
in his rawhide boots
that kick in the door
when he comes home
after a night of drinks
with his little bottle buddy
― Jack Daniels

the kids scatter like pool
balls smacked in a game
of a life-suckin’ gambit
they seek safe pockets with
neighbours or friends and pray
for adoption
but they’ve heard the refrain
played out
over and over on the
Country 105.1 Ra di oh my god!

Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys1
She put on dark glasses and long sleeved blouses2
― Your cheatin’ heart3

and they learn the tunes too
and the two-step beat of boots and fists
and the thunder rolls
and the buffalo hooves drum
a lickin’ on the women
who
despite all odds
cling to their broken-down
dreams and tear-jerk ballads
of love songs gone wrong

1 “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” written by Ed and Patsy Bruce (1975) and recorded by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.
2From “Goodbye Earl” written by Dennis Linde in the 1990s and recorded by the Dixie Chicks
3″Your Cheatin’ Heart” written and recorded by Hank Williams 1952

~ Diane Guichon

Diane Guichon is a M.A. graduate (2006) from the University of Calgary’s Creative Writing Program. Her poetry manuscript, Vignettes, was adapted and performed on stage by the U of C’s Drama Department. Her first book of poetry Birch Split Bark was awarded the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell 2007 Book Prize. Diane served for two years as the first writer in a pilot project: University of Calgary’s Writer-in-the-Schools Program at Queen Elizabeth High School. She teaches English Literature and Academic Writing for the University of Lethbridge’s Calgary Campus. Diane’s poetry, book reviews, and interviews with other poets are published in literary journals in Canada and the U.S. She has written several poetry manuscripts that interrogate and reflect our western identity and landscape. In 2012 Diane was short-listed for Calgary’s inaugural position of Poet Laureate.

Leave a Reply