Tag Archives: South Dakota

Four Guys on a Rock

Four Guys on a Rock

High upon a mountain, they peer across the hills.
They gaze across eternity; their memory still instills
a look into the past….. of a country’s past travails,
conjured up in vivid stories and legendary tales.

Washington was the first elected to lead this country free
Jefferson’s declaration safeguarded freedom by decree.
Roosevelt fought a foreign war and held the flag up high.
Lincoln saved the nation….. we remember each July.

It’s easy to forget what we learned when we were young
of incidents and those events of history that were flung,
about our nation, into our minds, that we’ve easily forgot
and why these four guys on the rock, to many, mean a lot.

Rushmore is the monument, a granite mountain shrine
in the Black Hills of Dakota, where marks the march of time
of history of our nation as told through only four
and reminds the future to remember, all that came before.

I’ve seen them many times at their advantage way up high
And many times I thought I saw them grin and laugh and cry
But the last time it concerned me, for their stare was not as bright
though I know that through their vision, they’ll steer the nation right.

The area around the monument is pristine in its scope
and you hear the wildlife callings…. echoing down the slope.
You smell the Quaking Aspen, the Spruce and Lodgepole pine
as you look upon the Presidents and know that all is fine.

t. j. gargano

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Tepee On The Hill

In 1948, my father was transferred from Iowa to Pierre, South Dakota to manage the Gambles Store and in that day, even though Native Americans, still called Indians back then, were largely on reservations, there were three large white tepees on the east edge of town, not far from the Mighty Mo’ (Missouri River).

One windy, hot summer day, I was at the store and I got to go with my Dad and his helper to the edge of town and up to one of the tepees.  We delivered a ‘freezer’ to the old Indian and his wife, living in one of the tepees.  The Indian gave my Dad 5 geese, which he took home and put in our storm shelter in the backyard.  I can still smell the mess I had to clean up on occasion…..haha  Memories….that’s what lives are made of.

I present this poem as ‘my record’ more than anything.  Feel free to read it.

Tepee On the Hill

On the side of a hill at the edge of town
a stone’s throw away….. from ‘Mighty Mo,’
the tepees sat in grass all around
on the side of a hill at the edge of town.
I remember the dogs running up and down
the hill,  ‘round the tepees….white as snow,
on the side of a hill at the edge of town,
a stone’s throw away….. from ‘Mighty Mo.’

Back in the early fifties, when my father ran that store
in Pierre, South Dakota, back then,
I remember all the places, I use to explore
back in the early fifties, when my father ran that store.
I’d stay with him and do things like sweeping up the floor
and help out with deliveries….. like all the other men…
back in the early fifties, when my father ran that store
in Pierre, South Dakota…… back then.

Between the tepees, where sat the old black car,
and where the wind was blowing a scary high pitched tone,
the grass was laying down, as were the dogs, not far,
between the tepees, where sat the old black car.
Then the tepee opened up and an old Indian with cigar
waved at Dad and suddenly I felt alone
between the tepees, where sat the old black car,
and where the wind was blowing a scary high pitched tone.

The freezer that we brought, that was bought from dad,
we hooked up in his tent
and I still can see him dancing and, in a way, it’s sort of sad,
the freezer that we brought, that was bought from dad.
Cause it makes me miss my dad even though I’m really glad
to have had that moment – with the Indian, now shared ; now spent
the freezer that we brought, that was bought from dad,
we hooked up in his tent.

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano

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