The One Who Will Save You

Listen to Wes McNair Reading the Poem

The One Who Will Save You Initial Exploration
If some afternoon you
should pass by there,
and the woman comes out swooping
her blue bathrobe back
from her path and crying, “Baby, oh my
sweet baby,” it won’t be you
she means, nor you
the hubby wearing motorcycles
on his T-shirt and jumping
down from the stairless
sliding galss door
says he wants to kill, so just
stand still. It the dog
they’ll be after, the shadow
under the not-quite sunk pink
Chevy, ratcheting itself
with a slow, almost inaudible
growl into the biggest, ugliest
cross West Central maine
has ever seen. It won’t matter
if the two shirtless fat kids
come from around back with
hubcaps on their heads and shout
even louder than their father does,
“Queenie!” By then Queenie,
less a queen than a chain-
saw lunging at the potential
cordwood of your legs,
won’t know or care what
humans have named her. There’ll be
no hope for you, Pal, unless
that is, the teenage daughter,
who comes across the front lawn’s
dandelions in her tank top
every so often to set me free,
releases you, too—shaking her head
as if only you and she
could see how impossible
her stupid parents and this uncool
dog really are, and lifting it,
like that, by the collar
to create a bug-eyed
sausage that gasps
so loud her mother gasps—not
that the daughter will care. “Mother,”
she’ll say, eyeing the sorry choice
of afternoon attire, “you should see
how you look.” /Then, flicking
Dad out of the way
and renaming the creature
she’s created “Peckerwood,”
she’ll march as if she
herself ere now queen
back through that kingdom
of Californian raisins and tires
and Christmas lights decing the front
porch in July, and past the screen door
with the sign saying This
Is Not A Door, to disappear,
rump by rump with a bump
and a grind to you
through the real screen door.
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Transcript 1

Transitions and Structure
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Transcript 2

Endings and Line Breaks
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Transcript 3