Tim Pfau

Did Your Parents Dream?

Ekphrasis from “A High Riding Woman,” a song by Harold Adamson and Harry Sukman,
from the 1957 western movie
Forty Guns, written and directed by Samuel Fuller.

Was your mother’s dream,
while kneading stiff dough
for your daily bread,
of Barbra Stanwyck
feeling forty guns?

Was she id-riding
the tallest creature
on the lone prairie
its big, strong, body
rippling under?

What went through her mind
whipping potatoes,
the milk and butter
spattering the bowl,
to her harsh command?

Was this a movie
seen when they dated?

Your father too, did
he think to tame her,
helping her up to
ride his buckboard
way past the sunset,
Barry Sullivan’s
Griff, tossing the whip,
teaching her to feel
places she’s only

Never mind . . .

Such thoughts ain’t fittin’
for the decent folk,
spawned by calico,
or blue jean, clad salt
of the western earth.

They would just raise dust
in spots hard to clean.


Tim Pfau is a story teller in Salem, Oregon. He grew up in Wyoming during the 1950s. His poetry was first published in Canopic Jar 24 and his poems have also appeared in Canopic Jar 27, Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, The Toucan, Gold Man Review, Eyesocket Journal, shows, newspapers and anthologies. He has received one Pushcart nomination and served on the Board of the Oregon Poetry Association.