Red Tractor by David L O’Nan
Hazel Willett grew up between country and town before the Carmi, Illinois roads. A right red arrow sign points “Corn Seeds and Corn Sold here”, the left black arrow sign on the other side says “The House of Prayer” all you see are fields. Where are these places?
Well Hazel got married a few times to Ol’ Red, Ol’ Roy, and Dwight the drunk. She had a few kids, a few odd girls and a couple of country punks. She had one son the cook, Willie Buck and one son that knew how to crook ‘Lil Clyde. Together them boys could steal some hearts, skinny dipping like frogs out in the pond while mean ass Dwight drove around drunk mowing a mess of crops with his rusty red tractor.
A few years in the boys got through school or left before the final bell tolled and enlisted into the Air Force. They learned the game, got married and got a divorce to two Lindas 2 weeks before they left off to their first mission.
Well Linda Jean and Linda Darlene moved on quickly and got hitched up with the Grawlikee twins. Sean and Shoney Grawlikee. The best metal head country loving boys with the coolest motorcycles and the coolest 8 track system playing the Allman Brothers Band until the birds fell from the sky to their death from the Ramblin’ sounds.
Well back to Willie Buck, known for his cooking the best Scrambled egg chili and blood red puddings, but Clyde felt lonely out there near the Philippines. They began to hear about the rumbles of the wars in countries nearby. Clyde fell in love with a girl from Manila. They talked about babies, farming and building a home back near his mom. Well this girl didn’t feel quite the same for Clyde. She didn’t fully like his idea. She said “no, no, no red tractor, I’ll stay here” then he saw her walk away to another man about a mile away at the corner store. The man was wearing shades and smoking nearly 2 packs at once. It was Clyde’s enemy in the Force. Jimmy Wesley, the self proclaimed loverboy who could convince any women that walked by that he was quite the investor. “One day baby! It’ll be me and you in a big mansion and we’d have all the horses you want”
Well, Clyde got mad. Escaped away. Beat up a greaser style man on the dirt road. Clyde stole his coat and his car and made a skip-hop-and a jump to the nearest Aeroplane. He made it home back into mama Hazel’s arms and her ripe red flowery moo-moo dress.
Hazel said “Welcome home baby, Daddy Dwight is missing…or maybe the ass is in jail… I tell you what Clyde, find you a gal down at Birdie Brown’s bar, marry her up and you can have Dwight’s farm since I’m down for the count and falling more ill everyday damn it!”
She took a silent breath of wretched smoke straight into Clyde’s ear and whispered “You can save up and get you the newest red tractor on the market”
Clyde got giddy and got him a factory job and began singing Buck Owen’s tunes to hippies in the bar that were stoned and tipped him torn dollar bills. One of those Friday nights he saw Marie Smith, a childhood enemy who know was smoking about 2 packs at once and dancing around. They got to talking and next thing you know they were dancing to “Summer in the City” he said “baby, all this scotch has gotten you looking so pretty”…”and it would be an honor if you come to my horse farm estate and become my wife” Well she thought Clyde was full of gold…but he just sold her a pack of lies with wandering eyes.
The couple got married on a rainy El Dorado night. The slick haired preacher got them all wedded and ready to go. 2 weeks later she is looking outside. Clyde is outside yelling “Baby! look at my new ride” Hell…it was the best red tractor around.
4 years later, 6 kids yelling, and a deadbeat neighbor who keeps inviting Marie over for a weed break and a jean shorts photo session. Clyde is walking around, hands in pocket, brass knuckles and a lucky rabbit’s foot in his clutch. Instead of fighting his neighbor Kenny for a lost cause he kept walking up that hill and sat by Mama’s stone. He talked for about an hour and said sorry Mama…I just wasn’t as successful as you wanted me to be.
A few minutes later his brother Willie Buck pulls up with his famous Dr. Thunder Cherry Pie and his family of five. He says “Hey Clyde it’s going to be a great Christmas ain’t it?” Well before Clyde could answer in shame, Willie Buck pulls out a check and says here’s 50 bucks…buddy it’s time to tow away that motherfucking red tractor!”
Clyde begins to hitch the roads and hopes to hit Hollywood to stalk Dolly Parton.
The Red Tractor Micropiece from Spriha Kant
The Red Tractor stands polished excited to assist his driver’s nominee in plowing the fields (c)Spriha Kant
Small town Whitley City, Ky from Marilee Poppins (Lena Saunders)
Ol'Red Childhood memories take me back to the winding roads of Kentuckys holler. Summers spent running amuck with our cousins Balancing buckets on our tiny shoulders to bathe ourselves Taught to handle, load, and shoot guns so young, knocked me on my toosh Seeing our Uncle riding back on the red tractor, we knew it was time Uncle Buck would bring laughter to hurt your belly and cheeks Aunt W would sing her angelic songs, motioning for us all to sing along The red tractor still sits in their yard today Old, duled in its lustrous red, grass grown knee high, weeds twined with the tires and grill As old and dull as it may look, Red still starts and runs to give its best just to be chosen. Life doesn't end as we grow older and wrinkled. Life doesn't end as our bones do not cooperate as they once did Life doesn't end when we choose to settle in our lives Let things grow and get wrapped up in different ideas Turn that key Start your engine Be present in the body and world your in. (c)Lena Saunders 9/8/2022 Hot red tractor by Ivor Daniel I love your hunky tyre track ruts in clagging mud or droughted dust your Wrangler shirtsleeved diesel trail your hoarse rough rumbling horsepower hotter than a red Corvette (to me) in the heartland the prairie in sunset Shredded Wheat or Marlboro Country “Cursed Houses” Part 2 Poetry Showcase from David L O’Nan A “Cursed Houses” pt. 1 Poetry Showcase from David L O’Nan – September 2022 Inspired by Bob Dylan poetry by Ivor Daniel A Review of “Before the Bridges Fell” by David L O’Nan (review by Ivor Daniel) 2 poems by Spriha Kant from Hard Rain Poetry Forever Dylan Anthology Poetry based on photography “The Lone Road to Moloka’I” from Maggs Vibo Poetry based on photography Challenge from Ankh Spice pt. 1 Bare Bones Writings Issue 1 is out on Paperback and Kindle Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Anthology available today!