A Man to Set Your Watch By


He drinks his coffee black
like a banker’s heart—
wears his shirt sleeves
rolled up, out of the way—
drives a dually pick up,
candy apple red
a gun rack in the rear window
holding his umbrella
sun-faded and frayed.
His boots, camel brown,
his hat pulled down,
tight on his forehead.
He never meets a stranger—
but doesn’t talk much.
His yes means yes,
his no means no.
He’s the man you want
to have your back
but he would rather walk away
than fight for the sake of fighting.
His eyes smile,
not just his lips.
He treats his dog
as good as his friends
and his friends as good
as his dog.
He weaves his two-step
as smooth as twirls his rope—
his voice smooth as sorghum syrup
calls my name in the night.


Elizabeth Buttimer, an entrepreneur, a manufacturer and former educator received her BA and MSC from Auburn University and Ph.D. from Georgia State University. Her poems have been published in Haunted Waters Press, Splash, the Halcyone, The Esthetic Apostle, Cathexis Northwest Press, and The Raw Art Review, among others. Her chapbook, Perfect Broken or in Jagged Fragments, has recently been published by Finishing Line Press (2019).

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  1. Love this!! It reminds me of when I grew up in a small southern town. People were genuine.

  2. Lovely poem and artwork! Thank you poet and artists!

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