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Daniel S. McTaggart

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Vanguards
by Daniel S. McTaggart

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Daniel S. McTaggart
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           >> View all 89

you can ask why the old man sits
on the porch beside an old Mobilgas pump

and maybe he will answer. that is
if he's awake enough to answer.

the porch is hardwood polished smooth
by years of wind and dust

and boots. the old man slumps
in his rocking chair with one alligator

booted foot sticking out. leathery
hands drooping from the arms.

his face obscured by the rim
of a Jack Daniel's ballcap. his mouth

a thin grim lipless line. balancing
an unlit pipe.

his blue denim shirt sporting
a few flakes of ash.

the sides of his jeans peppered with dust-
colored handprints.

the Mobilgas pump stands like a sentinel.
its round white face glaring blandly.

at one point it probably had expression
back when people depended upon it

to fuel their wanderlust. back when
its wrinkled companion had youth

and vigor enough to greet people.
while he filled their tanks people would ask

"what's going on today?" he would grin
and say "too much of not enough."

they would laugh and pay him for gas
plus tip. sometimes they'd give him

homemade bread or cookies and
he'd share it with other customers.

"see ya later" they'd say before they drove
away. he'd grin again, wider perhaps, and say

"don't stay out of too much trouble."
people usually felt better about going

back on the road after stopping. nowadays
the old man and Mobilgas pump

sit on the porch like two rusted relics
watching the vanguards of a faster world whiz by

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Reviewed by Katy Walsvik 5/8/2005
Good grief, DannyMac! I swear your senses are keener than most, especially your sense of just plain human! You can make a reader crave the 'unfancy' and slice-of-life better than anyone I've ever read.

Poetically, your verses continue on from one to the next, bringing a continuity, a thread that just naturally embroiders onward to the end.

Reading you is always magic for me. Sigh... katydid xoxox
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 4/28/2005
Excellent message poem!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Kate Clifford 4/28/2005
Great message within this write!
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 4/28/2005
A fascinating peak at a bygone era, I remember as a child traveling with my family through the mountains, stopping at places like this..thank you for reviving the memory...
Excellent write as always Dan!

Peace, Carole
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 4/28/2005
A captivating glimpse at a much simpler time and place, Mountain Poet; and this truly makes me yearn again for those 'good old days.'
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 4/27/2005
Ah for the better times of the distant past and boy did I see this as if I were there...EXCELLENT imagery, I enjoyed this one, MP...good to see you posting, you have been missed, at least by Rufuz (w00f), ;) Ed
Reviewed by Judy Lloyd (Reader) 4/27/2005
This is very good and yes I do remember this and wish we still had those days. We would all be better off if we did.
Reviewed by Henry Stevens 4/27/2005
Excellent old timey poem about a life style that's gone away, and won't be back. Henry
Reviewed by E T Waldron 4/27/2005
your imagery is always spot on and outstanding!
Superb write!

Eileen



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