On the Riverboat Twain

If you were at the party on the boat
that cut the humid vapor
on the Big Muddy
that buggy Summer night
you would have seen Jim
who doesn’t drink now but said
Huck’ll bury a few shots for him.

And if you joined us in the smoke
on the deck that held the cricket’s counsel
when the calliope took a rest
you might have caught me
whispering to The Judge
that I heard
Tom saw your daughter
Becky thatch her roof
in nothing but a nightie.

But the Judge just sustained his stomach’s
minor objection to the drink,
belched a gassy pardon
and said he didn’t like to think
of that boy wearing girls’ clothes.

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