An Incident Out West
       (of the Yard)

I walked my Palomino horse
       (a long stick)
to the hitching post
       (a pine tree)
and tied it up
       (I leaned it against the tree).

I pushed back the swinging doors
       (a piece of burlap tacked to the opening)
and walked into the saloon
       (our wood play hut)
and said hello to the barkeep
       (my little brother)
and shoved a worn silver dollar
       (a nickel)
across the massive oak bar
       (an old folding chair).

He shoved a shot of red-eye
       (warm grape Nehi in a plastic juice glass)
down the bar to me
and I asked if he'd seen Black Bart
       (our neighbor Danny).

Nope said the barkeep,
but that the sheriff
       (our mom)
had been looking for me and
wanted to have shootout
       (I had forgotten to pick up my clothes).

I took a chaw of tobacco
       (a Tootsie Roll)
out of my vest pocket
       (a real vest; my father's and old)
and tore off a chunk
       (about two sections)
with my teeth.

We jawed for a while about stolen cattle
       (our dog)
and I spit a stream of tobacco juice
       (Nehi and Tootsie Roll)
toward the spittoon
       (an empty Campbell's soup can)
but I missed
       (I hit my brother's new cowboy hat instead).

The barkeep said I'd had enough to drink
and to get out
       (he had his thumb on the mouth of the Nehi
       and was shaking it like crazy).

I jumped on my Palomino
       (I grabbed the stick)
and galloped away
       (ran fast)
in a cloud of dust
       (Nehi spray).

Harry W. Yeatts Jr.