Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Slim Jim

I wrote this....and have been shy in sharing it. But Kyle has encouraged me sharing it, so I thought I would let you all have a peek at an old poem of mine that I'm fairly partial to......I'd like for you all to meet my favorite sheriff "Slim Jim"

Part One
A Texas Desert

Way out in a Texas desert, a band of robbers sat,
One, they called him Bossin’ rubbed a finger ‘long his hat.
“Boys,” he said in a Southern drawl—a tobacco stream he spit—
“This job’s a breeze, this town’s a cinch, a bank we’re gonna hit.
Don’t ferget your places…Tom, you’re out in back—
We’ll clean this up in record time and fill our every sack.”
“Bossin’,” one wheezed, his chin a forest thick…
“It can’t be done I tell ya true…we’re gonna need a trick.
I hear tell from a gal o’ mine there’s a sheriff who lives here.
Who can shoot faster than Tommy Boy…and he don’t drink no beer.
Rumor ‘round El Paso’s he’s not ever on a  limb
And the nickname that he goes by is shootin’ Slim Jim!”
“Willy,” Bossin’ answered, his face an angry pinch—
“I know my stuff this bank’s a breeze—it’s gonna be a cinch.
Ferget about ole’ Slim Jim, he’s nuttin to me.
Afore I get all done here I’ll have ‘im up a tree.
So shut your yap an’ let’s get gone afore I blow my stack—
Don’t bother with the coffee pot, we ain’t got time to pack.”
Their horses were all saddled and ready to go—
And off they rode, a bank to hit, while the desert winds did blow.

Part Two

A Plannin’ For a Noose

Slim Jim walked the roadway, a smile upon his face.
He chuckled at the lil’ boys a tryin’ to have a race.
He slowed and bowed his hat to a lady old and gray
Then tipped his head and looked above…twas a pretty day in May.
Riders and wagons all crept along the street—
An the butcher was a hangin’ out his choicest cuts of meat .
The sheriff bowed his head to a fella they called Hank
And watched him as the grayin’ man opened up the bank.
Slim Jim had a feelin’ that today was not the same.
And that he might just have ta live up to his old nickname. 
He scanned the road with narrowed eyes and named each one he saw.
He knew Peter, and Jane, and the widow Jamie Flaw….
So far all were a citizen of the town that he did guard
And even all the babies were a playin’ in the yard.
Everything was as it was….everything in place…
Even the Milner’s shop was flowing o’er with lace.
He couldn’t shake the feeling….for he felt it in his boots
And his ears were a ringin’ like a dozen wooden flutes.
He knew he’d have ta watch careful all the day
For newcomers might be up to a no good fowl play. 
Slim Jim went in to make a pot before all broke loose…
He had a hunch before bedtime he’d have to build a noose.  

Part Three
Got to Have a Drink

Bossin and his band of buds rode into town at noon.
They thought it would be better than by the light of moon.
The saloon was their first stop—they were thirsty as could be.
They tied their horses on the post next to the old oak tree.
They swayed through the swinging doors and right up to the bar—
They all ordered whiskeys and started a cigar.
Willy wanted a table, but Bossin said no.
They didn’t have the time to waste, so
They drank their drinks in a single gulp and started for the door.
Their jangling spurs made little marks right there on the floor.
They tipped their hats to the ladies who were walking on the way—
The ladies stepped away from them…not sure of what to say.
Tommy looked across the street and did a double take.
He knew the badge that shone so bright could not be a fake.
Slim Jim was a standin’ right thar by the fence
A chattin’ with a lil’ gal bout twenty years or hence. 
Bossin was alerted and his face warmed a shade of red.
His dark eyes a narrowed and seething he said,
“That man’s nuttin’ but a boy…he’s just a lil’ sap
I told ya boys this job’s real quick it’s gonna be a wrap!”
Slim Jim looked up and caught ole’ Tommy’s eye—
Tommy had to look away…he swatted at a fly.
Slim Jim smiled and nodded at the girl to whom he spoke.
He stepped away and watched her go in her little bluin’ cloak.
He started toward the band of men outside of the saloon—
And Tommy felt just as if he might a need tah swoon.
Slim Jim walked right up to them and bobbed his hated head.
And Bossin yawned just as if he’d gotten out of bed.
“Howdy Boys,” Slim Jim said, his curiosity was plain.
“Sure am hopin’ for a cloud…we’re gonna need some rain.
Hope you all enjoy our town…ain’t seen ya hereabouts…”
Slim Jim stopped and looked around at the sudden peal of shouts.
A little boy was a writhin’, right thar in the dirt.
An’ blood was a seepin’ out of a hoof print in his shirt.
Slim Jim ran toward the scene and left the men alone…
Willy was a purest white and scared down to the bone.
Bossin watched ole’ Slim Jim work with a flame down in his eye.
He scrutinized the sheriff like an eagle in the sky.
“Come on, Boys,” he said again, a thought was on the brink.
“Let’s go back in and have a game….I’ve got to have a drink.”

Part Four
The Gunfight

Slim Jim propped his tired feet upon his big oak desk
Determined to catch a few sweet peaceful hours of rest.
He wondered o’er the day with a frown and a great sigh too.
And he recalled the three strange men who’d vanished without clue.
He’d searched for them right after lunch and then again at dusk.
He’d tried to talk to the passersby—those that he could trust.
He was tired and hungry; this day was hard and long
And what he wanted most to do was pluck out a song. 
He grabbed his worn out guitar and started on a chord,
But had to stop and pray a while….just a minute with his Lord. 
He rubbed his nose with a gentle smile a spreadin’ on his face…
And knew that he had been blessed with the greatest type of grace.
A scufflin’ was a happenin’ right outside his door…
A bearded man ran right in and right across the floor.
“Sheriff,” he cried, his face a great white sheet—
“There’s three men right outside…it’s you they want to meet!
One, they say that he’s the boss, he wants to have a gunfight.
He says that if you win he just might
Leave our town alone and go back from where he came—
He’s very very serious…to him this ain’t a game. 
You’d best come quick and tend to him….he’s ready right outside—
And though he’s a man a scum…I don’t think he’d of lied.”
Slim Jim reached for his guns and knew that they were loaded—
The bearded man watched with awe and quickly noted
That the sheriff whom he trusted was bowing his head with care—
And offering up a tender and silent little prayer.
He nodded at the man who’d come for him to fetch
And walked toward the door -- in his step there was a catch.
He looked back and said “Jeff, you know the plan.”
And the bearded man turned and out the door he ran
Slim Jim paused and turned the knob—he was scared down to the core—
But he went ahead and with a twist he opened up the door. 
The street was deserted, no one was in sight
Except for the one man who was waitin’ for a fight.
Slim Jim walked into the street and faced the smirking man.
Bossin’ was a standin’ there—he knew he had a plan.
Tommy Boy and Willy were waitin’ in the wake
They were a plannin’ to help their boss—this sheriff’s life to take.
“This is just a huge mistake,” Slim Jim said out loud.
Bossin laughed and in a joke quite mockingly he bowed. 
His face then hardened and he stepped toward the night
Slim Jim did the same and refused the thought of flight.
The street was so silent—all were scared to death
Jeff wiped his sweaty brow and took a shaky breath. 
Tommy Boy and Willy watched -- their guns were posed and ready
Their aim was true and their hands were a sittin’ sound and steady.
Bossin readied his nervous thoughts and reached down for his gun
Slim Jim twitched his gun hand and stopped all Bossin’s fun.
Four shots rang through the air—and a man was no more boss…
He fell with a quiet thud, and knew that he had lost.
Now, I won’t say the one who died was a standin’ in the right…
But if you knew ole’ Slim Jim, you’d know who died that night. 

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