Same story, y'all. Should have brought some cash to Austin. Got this picture from Google. It's a decent stand-in for the real thing that's probably still sitting in a South Congress antique shop. (I'm well-aware that this dog is not a beagle)

Same story, y'all. Should have brought some cash to Austin. Got this picture from Google. It's a decent stand-in for the real thing that's probably still sitting in a South Congress antique shop. (I'm well-aware that this dog is not a beagle)

A BEAGLe and A BANJO

It’s her grandaddy’s banjo 

The one with the snapped string 

And the dent on the back 

Where he kicked it the day he couldn’t remember the words 

 

She holds it all wrong

But it rests on her goose-fat thighs  

And her grandaddy teaches her to strum with her thumb

The one her mother kissed and bandaged 

 

She’s never learned a chord

But there’s a beagle by her feet 

And she knows it sounds right 

When he wags his tail 

 

Her grandaddy would smile

Even if she strummed with her teeth 

To see that maple and calfskin in those stubby hands 

To see her playing before she can babble

 

He’s always liked music over words 

And this little girl over everybody else 

And this banjo, this banjo he bought off a bum in Nashville 

When he only had forty bucks in his back pocket

 

He can see the twang in her blood and her sugarplum cheeks 

And her curls like Shirley Temple 

On that movie he watched wide-eyed 

When he was short and fresh  

 

When she slides her finger across the bridge 

The beagle flaps his tongue 

And berries drop off the trees 

And blue birds gape in midair 

 

And her grandaddy’s heart stretches

And she doesn’t know it yet, but in a few years

He’ll be under the mud and up in the sky

He’ll be a sparkle in the stars 

 

And she won’t remember the shape of his face

But she’ll know the sound of his banjo