for my father
The Lone Ranger lived
in the old floor-model radio,
the one shaped like the nave
of a cathedral, that stood
beneath the dining-room window
in my childhood apartment.
When my father came home
from some place called work,
we’d pull up two chairs and lean
into sun and dust, as the Lone Ranger
galloped across the plains,
his silver spurs flashing, as he urged
the great horse on—Hi-yo Silver!
I closed my eyes to hear him better,
saw the stallion rear against the sky,
the Ranger wipe sweat from his face
with a red bandana, and then storm
into town, deftly pulling two revolvers,
spinning silver in each hand before
the loud reverberations of his shots.
Afterward, he left that lawless town,
heading for the desert or the hills,
the rising night wind in his wake.
While my mother cooked supper,
and my baby sister crawled around our feet,
my father and I rode with the Lone Ranger,
leaning forward in our saddles,
breathing hard, as our white horses
carried us through the dark.
© 2010 by Penny Harter.
From her forthcoming collection, Portal.
Used with the author's permission.