a poem a day for a year #3

by Amy Turn Sharp


in the summer of 1990 I learned seduction tricks from Otis Redding

actually from The Black Crows

(because I was naive and had no clue that they were singing some old Otis song)

Hard to handle

My god I was hard to handle

but I tried to channel that skinny singer and the pounding beats of the drum

in my walk around

around cow town

I would light candles and rage against drugstore loving for nearly all of the 90's.

There was this old dirt road in Hocking County and I swear it was named Reeb Road and we could not stop going there because Reeb is Beer backwards and that was all we needed.

Just a sign in the road that made sense.

And we would climb up on these old rusty water towers and drink cheap watery beers with our tape decks blaring southern rock or perhaps Hard to Handle and we would be still against the perfect pastoral moment. We would hatch our plans that nearly always involved escape from shitville, USA and I would stare off all moody and dreamy like and tell them about love

How I could

any old time love you

better than her

I thought love was tough like copperhead snakes

I thought it was in tight jeans and a swagger

I thought I had to be hard to be handled well

 

it took me a hundred years to soften up

and I'm not even sure now

if I know how to sing it in the version of Otis yet

sometimes I don't know if my love has soul

 

but if time is frozen

there is a girl on a tower somewhere

on a road called Reeb

and she is smirking

and her body is hard against the landscape of evening

there is little sunshine left

but she's throwin' it on you

now

she's hard to handle

now