"Tulsa" by Brian Cornish

Enjoy this beautiful poem by our friend, Brian Cornish! 

 

TULSA 

He had a face that could hold three days of rain. 

It was the Fourth of July, and we were waiting on a westbound train. 

I asked him, “Where ya goin’?” He said, “Not as far as where I’ve been. 

But if you’re headed out to Tulsa, I guess I could use a friend.” 

 

His hands held her ashes, in a box engraved with her name. 

I said, “My name’s Jerry.” He chuckled and said, “Mine’s the same, 

and the box might read Teresa, but everybody called her Jane.” 

 

He said, "Tulsa’s where I met her, Tulsa’s where I’ll set her down. 

I was driving semis, she was tending bar outside of town. 

Slinging drinks at a joint called the Twist and Shout. 

I walked in one night; six hours later she and I walked out. 

 

Out past Catoosa, on the banks of the Verdigris, 

was a great big field where grass grew on up past our knees. 

We’d lay in that field, look up at night and name the stars. 

But now I can’t remember just which of them were ours. 

 

I can still hear her laughing when we’d get caught there in the rain, 

while eating deep-fried pickles or drinking cheap champagne, 

then playing crazy eights while she tried to dry her hair. 

Now she’s in this box, and I’m playing solitaire. 

 

I’m not long for this world, so I’ll just state it plain. 

Once I’m gone, I just want someone to remember Jane." 

Well, I made that man a promise, even if I can’t say why. 

And if you’re ever east of Tulsa, on the Fourth of July, 

I won’t be eating pickles, or drinking cheap champagne, 

but you can join us at the billboard that reads, 

“Please Remember Jane.”

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