The Narrative of Henry Loyd “Smitty”

Henry Loyd “Smitty,”
oh where did you go?
   West! to the Rockies,
   to New Mexico!
An Arkansas farmer,
   nineteen years old!
When did you find out
that farming was old?
Yet, Teens will be Teens,
and still have their dreams;
   Henry, himself, one or two.
And doesn’t its handle
have the name ‘New?’
Cotton don’t grow there;
   turnips, a few;
nor will there much stuff,
   the farming you knew.
I guess, Henry “Smitty,”
   you just had to go.
The quest of your dreams,
   El Dorado.
And when in Depression,
it’s hard what to know:
   Hunger goes sowing,
   where Real only grows.
Maybe learn later,
what you must need know.
But, sometimes,
those young lads,
they just gotta go.
Detroit City,
Steel working City.
   Deep, dark, and gritty,
   the air’s dirty too.
You just had to go there
for Work you could find;
   Henry Loyd “Smitty,”
left dreams behind.
A World War at large,
it’s best now you forge
   Armor for army,
   and boats for the navy.
And Work is enduring,
but, then there’s the gravy,
   for young men in Twenties
   who bear newborn babies.
Yet, dreams keep recurring.
Tweens will have many –
   Out there, somewhere,
   the possible Maybe.
So, Henry “Smitty,”
what do you know –
   Twenty years later,
   and where do you go?
Back to the desert
from land of the snow,
   back to the sand dunes
   of New Mexico!
Well, Henry Loyd “Smitty,”
you must like it so,
   back to your reaches
   for El Dorado.
There Must be some secret
only you know,
   Henry Loyd “Smitty”
   and Coronado.
The Quest for Enchantment,
   El Dorado.
But what makes you both think
   New Mexico?
O Henry Loyd “Smitty,”
   what to forego,
to give up and get up,
   take up and go?
leave This behind
for That of some kind?
   The Real still reveals
     it simply won’t go.
It is where it is,
   and follows in stow.
When comes the time
   to mind It will show
there ain’t no great cities,
   no El Dorado?
But sometimes,
these laddies,
   they just gotta go.
Dreams still are still keen
and minds still will sow
   fantasy cities,
   like El Dorado.
If Dreams but impressions
   kept fantasized,
Real become lessons
O Henry Loyd “Smitty,”
   there was no such city,
like Cibola, Eureka;
   or El Dorado.
But it’s not so bad;
all lads gotta know,
   Dreams are like mountains,
   but then there’s the snow –
in Arkansas, Detroit,
or El Dorado.
Too much of something
for nothing to show,
like treasures in pleasures,
in sand or else snow.

©2015, Marvin Welborn
11 April 2015. Revised 12 Apr 15.

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