Ballad of the Canyon River Blues

My jeans were distressed

in a time before it was


Faded now, this grease stain

on the inside right leg was

from an offer of a tandem

joyride on the gravel and grey-

dust roads of a municipality

in a northern province of Luzon.

This belt loop was torn open

while stumbling past a barbwire

fence. We were weary from an afternoon

hike, squelching past ankle-deep

in the black mud back trail

outside a Big Island valley taro farm.

I split open the right knee

as I knelt every Sunday under silver-

grey tents, onto the blue tarps laid

down on the asphalt of Kam swap meet

stalls. All the better to peruse short

and long comic book boxes.

The left back pocket I holed on summer

vacation, where under cruel sun

we tossed into a truck bed an almond

orchard chainsawed down the day

before, having died in the years-long

drought outside of Tracy, California.

I displayed badges. My mother’s dismay

looked upon wounds to be scabbed

with patches, sewn shut with stitched scars.

Talk story

Leave one comment for Ballad of the Canyon River Blues

This website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to its use of cookies.