MPR Valentine

A Valentine’s poem for the Minnesota man
by Peter Smith, Minnesota Public Radio

A Minnesota Valentine

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
In Minnesota this time of year, practicality pays.

I love thee for thy calories converted to heat,
In the night, bun to bun, under the sheets.
Never mind lingerie. Let passion take a hiatus.
Give me two parts of your flannel to one of my flatus.

For your car starting skills, so adroit and so able,
As you raise up my hood and attach your jumper cables,
Then stand on a snowbank made by some passing plow,
And tell me to “Crank it.” I’m so hot for you now.

For your blower, your shovel, your roof rake, your salt,
For your scarf, hat and chopper snow removal gestalt.
Love may or may not work in mysterious ways,
But in Minnesota this time of year, practicality pays.

I love thee for thy hotdish — mushroom soup or tomato.
Hamburger. Tuna fish. How you wrangle potatoes.
I love knowing the food on our table tonight’s
bound for my waistline tomorrow. It just feels right.

For being considerate. For the love you devote.
For letting me run the TV remote.

For your intuition… Your powers of deduction.
En route to your mother’s, all the driving instruction.
How you fill in my blanks and complete every thought.
I don’t finish thinking as fast as I ought.

There are Romeos for Juliets and Brad Pitts for Jolies.
In Minnesota, there’s pretty much just “You’s” and “Me’s.”
And I speak for all Minnesota men when I say,
I love you. I’m sorry. Happy Valentines Day.


Vigilantes 1864

 Vigilantes at Bannack 2001

Vigilantes 1864

Cold cruel winds blow down intent

upon the Bannack mining camp.

Just days before an Innocent

had spilled his guts, the saddle tramp

Told one and all:  the Road Agents

were sheriff’s men, which none could trump.

In Virginia, Nevada, all up Alder Gulch,

Catholic and Mason, from South and from North,

Stormed forth the Committee for Vigilance-

defend their homes, they swore the oath.

‘Cross rivers frozen and sagebrush adrift,

a vision, revelation, to the very last pale horse.

Come ghosts of the hundred murdered before.

Come Deputy Ray, you will kill no more.

Come Deputy Stinson, leave your saloon whore.

Come damned Sheriff Plummer, let us finish this chore.

Come dance in the gallows, plead for your souls.

Come peace to Montana, 10 January 1864.


(c) jcs 18.01.01

Reposted in honor of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering at Elko, Nevada, this week. Bannack became first capital of Montana Territory on May 26, 1864.