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Oh, Beautiful Yesterday
Ralph Murre


What’s become of them, I wonder;
the soothsayers and blacksmiths,
the coopers and lamplighters,
cart wrights and caulkers.
And what’s become of sidekicks?
Pat Butram -
Andy Devine -
Ed McMahon -
the jesters for justice
and the American way;
where are they now?
Jay Silverheels doesn’t count,
since he was smarter than the boss:
against the silent code of sidekicks,
against the law of buffoonery.
Sidekickin’ didn’t seem like a bad gig,
except for being shot at some
and never getting the girl.
I suppose they were on-call a lot
and did their share of sleeping on the ground,
but they seemed pretty happy.
I believe young people should
look into being sidekicks,
check with tech schools,
learn to ride.


From The Price of Gravity ((Little Eagle Press, 2010).
Used here with the author’s permission.


Ralph Murre is a recovering Wisconsin farm boy who has taken to poetry instead of plowing, since the pay rate is about the same, and the females involved tend to be human rather than Holstein. His books to date are Crude Red Boat (now out of print), Psalms, The Price of Gravity and, most recent and co-authored with Sharon Auberle, Wind Where Music Was. He has been honored to serve as the 2015-2017 Poet Laureate of Door County, Wisconsin.You can learn more about Ralph, and enjoy his photographs, drawings, and more poetry, at his Arem Arvinson blog.




Post New Comment:
Ralph Murre:
Thanks to you all for your interest & comments, and thanks especially to Jayne for finding this in one of my books, where it was languishing.
Posted 01/25/2017 11:25 AM
Loved this. Who can forget those sidekicks? Met Andy Divine once in Milwaukee. A story in itself.
Posted 01/24/2017 03:58 PM
Yes, I they made the 'star' shine ~
Posted 01/24/2017 03:07 PM
Fun one. Enjoyed this very much.
Posted 01/24/2017 10:36 AM
You had me at the title. See "nostalgia." Fun work.
Posted 01/24/2017 10:28 AM
Nice one. There is something warm and friendly in this poem. I like it very much.
Posted 01/24/2017 09:31 AM
Dear Ralph, You've revived my childhood! Thank you--my favorite sidekick was Tonto.
Posted 01/24/2017 09:01 AM
I remember those names and times. You have a nice turn in the poem- Well done! Susan T. Moss
Posted 01/24/2017 08:52 AM
love this good poem about the good ole days, which are looking better all the time!
Posted 01/24/2017 08:07 AM
Larry Schug:
Also as the Grateful Dead once said, and you alluded to, "learn to duck". This is a poem that invokes something new with each reading--and I plan to give it plenty of readings! Anybody need a sidekick? I'll do it, but not taking any bullets.
Posted 01/24/2017 07:51 AM
Gary Busha:
Ohh, yes!
Posted 01/24/2017 07:42 AM
Nice poem, Ralph...but you've always been more "Cisco" than "Pancho" since I've known you.
Posted 01/24/2017 07:15 AM
A flood of memories of fond sidekicks! Stunning ending > I believe young people should... Many thanks, Ralph.
Posted 01/24/2017 06:39 AM

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