Billy Tom’s Fingers

Posted by dwallace on February 2, 2011 in Billy Tom's Fingers, Poems |

I had to write a portrait poem, so I wrote one about my Grandpa. I wanted to write one that best represented what I thought about him. Remember, poems don’t have to rhyme. In fact, most, “good poets,” poems don’t rhyme. But sometimes in the writing process, the piece takes on a life of it’s own.

Billy Tom’s Fingers

Sausage sized fingers
That played with cigarette cherries
And were occasional teeth pullers
Waved liked American flags when telling a story.

They hammered nails,
Chased tails,
Broke broncos,
And held babies.

They’ve given,
And made the bacon,
From hogs you raised yourself.

They’ve won craps
And turkey shoots,
Taken off work boots,
And could bend quarters like Superman.

They were guitar pickers,
Truck gear shifters,
And could fix anything
That could be opened.

They’ve knocked people out.
Helped people up.
And have even tanned
Little naughty kid’s butts.

They were crooked and fat.
Nails purple and black.
And though they’re long gone
I can still picture every one.

(Usually poets leave things open to the reader’s interpretation. I just want to clarify one line. My grandpa was a hunter, not a womanizer.)

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