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For Alex Cox

This is the year Dien Bien Phu falls,

Algeria rises, segregation is

ruled illegal in the USA,

the first kidney is transplanted and UK

wartime food rationing finally ends.

Lime Street was filled with thousands of boys and girls,

gathered to greet the singing, celluloid,

Born Again cowpoke, Roy Rogers (erstwhile

Leonard Slye), and his entourage – combining

a promo tour with a Billy Graham

crusade. The youngsters, pinched with cold on that

blitzed and windy street, clutched their copies

of the Roy Rogers Cowboy Annual.

Those with seafaring dads – and there were ships

filling the Mersey then and its docks –

had something from the Sears catalogue

of Roy Rogers’ Gifts: boots, guitar, holster,

ersatz buckskin fringed shirt. (Roy and his wife, Dale,

had been mobbed in London, fringes ripped from

the genuine article). But Roy and Dale

were in bed with ‘flu in their Adelphi suite –

so Trigger trotted the route alone,

climbed the hotel steps, made his mark at

reception, entered the residents’ lounge,

visited his master’s bedroom and appeared

at a first floor window for a photo op.

But was it Trigger or, his double,

Little Trigger? And which rears on its hind legs

stuffed in the Roy Rogers’ Museum,

Branson, Missouri, the ‘Show Me’ state?

Or is either or both with Roy and Dale –

and Bullet, the dog, of course – alive, well and

moseying along on the moon’s dark side?

© Copyright David Selzer
2 Responses
  • Alex Cox
    February 16, 2011

    What an honour to have such a poem dedicated to me.
    My father was clearly most impressed by these events
    since he wanted to name me Roy. Mum had other ideas.

  • David Selzer
    February 17, 2011

    Without your drawing my attention to the incident, there would be no poem. So, you are the ‘onlie begetter’.

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