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by Lynn McGee

1996, 34 pages

Winner of the 1996 Sapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition.


They had armchairs fat as hot tubs,
staircase tall as a waterfall,
but what I waited for was
Little Joe,

even smaller
next to head-scratching Hoss,
holsters chafing as they swung
into saddles,
Pa on the front porch
stern as Poseidon,
his three grown boys sailing
the prickly prairie.

That club was Men Only
and their ancient creed stood firm—
guide the ladies' puffy descent
from carriages,
but clutch your bachelorhood
close as cash.

Kid without clout,
zealous as a runaway,
I craved entrance to that fort
and that army of brothers,
Little Joe
their weakest link,

A man known to wink
as bonnets bobbed;
part eunuch,
part heart-throb,
a virgin's ticket West.


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Audio Sample:

As read by the author,
Lynn McGee


About the Author:

Lynn McGee

Praise For

"Bonanza is a collection of poems which lives up to its title— a rich vein mined by an observer-poet as intelligent as she is wonderful. Here disguises, gender roles and identifications, shifting victims and sacrifices are all motifs in the complex mix of what erodes, what stays."

—Carole Simmons Oles

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