(Permian Basin, West Texas)


Uncle Pedro boasted

that he earned his living

off rotten dinosaurs.


He lamented that the rigs

had changed so much

since he worked them,


needing far fewer men

than they used to.

Decades of exposure


to the noise of spinning,

grinding steel left him

almost deaf. Just before


he had to stop working,

a rig accident

took half his right


index finger. Soon as

the swelling shrank,

he adorned the stub


with a big turquoise

ring he brandished

like a badge.




Larry D. Thomas: I am a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, and served as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate. I have published several collections of poetry, including As If Light Actually Matters: New & Selected Poems (Texas Review Press, Member, Texas A&M University Press Consortium). Among the journals in which my poetry has recently appeared are Callaloo, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Review Americana, Louisiana Literature, and San Pedro River Reviewlarrydthomas.com.