Saturday, August 10, 2013

Little Dark-eyed Junco

photo © 2013 Jennifer Wagner

Welcome to Rubbletown,
and thanks for leaving.
Don’t let the saloon doors
hit ya on the backside on yer way out.

Rope yerself a farmer’s daughter
cuz the sheriff here does all the ropin’
of the choicest stock.

He gets a cut down at
The Delmonico,
making fodder for Madame Maynard’s
…err, establishment.

That sheriff, he’s a mean cuss.
See them boots?
Silver-tipped and intricate all up the sides?
He dips ‘em in rattlesnake venom.
And he’ll kick ya ‘til yer skin splits
and rots, black as raven’s feathers.

He’s the devil alright.
And the devil deals in hearts.
That’s why I’ve sleeved
a spade.

One day he’s gonna ask
the wrong "purty lil' thang"
to dance.

© 2013 Jennifer Wagner

At dVerse we’re writing cowboy poetry.  The Delmonico was a Hotel and Restaurant and suspicioned to have rooms leased to Madame Henrietta Maynard in Port Townsend, WA in the early 1900’s.  I’ve based my fictionalized poem on accounts found in the “Bars & Bordellos” booklet from the Jefferson County Historical Society (pictured). 


  1. You have drawn a mean cuss of the sheriff with those venom boots ~ Well one day he's going to get his due, I reckon ~ Nice work on accent/local words too ~

  2. very cool....his boots dipped in rattlesnake venom...oy..not a fellow to get in a clash with...ha.. i rather let the saloon doors hit me on the backside as long as i don't have to deal with him...

  3. ha...that opening stanza got a guffaw from me...smiles...and that sheriff, sounds like a mean hoss....small town sheriffs can be like that...little tyrants...they will find their due though, some daddy'll bring the buck shot when he aint lookin...smiles.

  4. Love the close! Good job! :-) Great write, and a wonderful contribution to our set of cowboy poems tonight.

  5. ah.. that is such a thorough-writing. sheriff was definitely sinister.

  6. Sometimes in those days I am sure it was hard to know the 'good guys' from the 'bad guys.' That sheriff sure sounds like a questionable character.

  7. Oh, nice twist in the tail! And I enjoyed the whole poem.

  8. Wow, you really do have me feeling all cowboy like.

  9. i relaly liek the second to last stanza -> the tone, what it's sayin,g the way you put together the words.

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  10. I got caught right up in this one! Excellent fun.

  11. Love that start. Thanks for leaving indeed, no strangers welcome here indeed. And a sheriff with rattlesnake venom. Fun read

  12. You really managed to get into the spirit of this prompt: the lingo is fascinating and the story captivating.

  13. Sure sounds like a place to tread carefully...I think I'd be moving on real fast. Great write!

  14. I guess he better watch out or there'll be a new sheriff in town, one with spurs silver and lace!

  15. The opening stanza was great..the sheriff with a devil's to leave before trouble starts.

  16. What a cool poem! Really vivid writing, I love the opening "Welcome to Rubbletown, and thanks for leaving." Also, I was unaware of the Dark-eyed Junco - cool reference. They are described as "...neat, even flashy little sparrows that flit about forest floors of the western mountains and Canada" Perfect fit for your poem.

  17. Great painting of a saloon scene - I take my straight up.

  18. Wonderful write! That's one nasty hombre--I have to confess, I was looking for when the bird would show up, I love dark-eyed juncos :-) This was a real treat--I also love surprise endings ;-)

  19. Nice Jennifer! Great job on this! Felt like I was right there in Rubbletown watching all this take place.

  20. This was quite a creative one. Loved the saloon scene!!


Thank you for your thoughts!