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Poems for Velma
Velma at The Strike Axe Place

The screened in porch on the south side,
Was a perfect place for us to ride,
Our vehicles made to look like planes,
Painted on mouth from where flames,
Were like the ones of that war,
Across the world somewhere, a door.
Nothing but the foundation of the Strike Axe
Remains for lack of care and some pack.
Jones money bought the land and house,
 From the Osage, Cap Strike Axe and his spouse.
Greed and irresponsible youth,
Claimed it and that’s the truth.
“Take her! Take her! She mine!”
Dad wouldn’t quarrel, not for a dime,
This was his philosophy, and he was heard to say,
So across south porch we no longer did play.
The old place sat for years with furniture and things
Gradually stolen and filched from clocks to rings.
Until the prairie fire of circa 1988.
She was burned, and was the last of that estate.
Velma loved the shade of the spreading maple tree,
We loved the peaches we tasted while upon her knee.
An acre of strawberries she tended so well,
Although she warned us of rattlesnakes. “They ring a bell.”

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