Let me tell you old stories,
One time when I was on the threshing crew,
after supper, in the hayloft
of your grandpa's big barn,
I picked up a big old tom cat
and threw it onto one of the hired men's bedroll
while he was trying to sleep.
Oh, did I have to skedaddle out of there.
A smile was on Robert's face just below the oxygen lines feeding upward from the softly hissing canister.
He was attired, midmorning, in his pajamas.
I had come to visit him, a cousin a couple of generations removed, in the sleepy Black Hills town where he lived.
If only I had quit smoking a couple of years earlier, he said,
about the time I was last out your way hunting deer.
There was regret in his voice, but it quickly passed. You know, when I first came out to the Hills, I didn't have a job, nothing.
The first construction site I saw,
I walked up to the foreman and asked
if they needed help.
Can you drive a 'dozer?
Sure, I said and walked over to one,