The Waltz We Were Born For
I never knew them all, just hummed and thrummed my fingers with the radio, driving five hundred miles to Austin. Her arms held all the songs I needed. Our boots kept time with fiddles and the charming sobs of blondes, the whine of steel guitars sliding us down in deer-hide chairs when jukebox music was over. Sad music's on my mind tonight in a jet high over Dallas, earphones on channel five. A lonely singer, dead, comes back to beg me, swearing in my ears she's mine, rhymes set to music that make her lies seem true. She's gone and others like her, leaving their songs to haunt us. Letting down through clouds I know who I'll find waiting at the gate, the same woman faithful to my arms as she was those nights in Austin when the world seemed like a jukebox, our boots able to dance forever, our pockets full of coins.
From Whatever the Wind Delivers by Walt McDonald. Copyright © 1999 by Texas Tech University Press. Reprinted by permission of the publishers. All rights reserved.
Walt McDonald has received six awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, including the Lon Tinkle Memorial Award for Excellence Sustained Throughout a Career, and four Western Heritage Awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. He served served as Texas Poet Laureate in 2001.
Date Published: 1999-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/waltz-we-were-born