I Dare You

"I dare you," she taunted, hands on her hips;
"I dare you" - the words fairly flew from her lips.
Grubby brown toes dug into the dirt;
Dressed like a tomboy, blue jeans, chambray shirt.

An' me in my coveralls, scrubby 'n all;
looking down on the top of her head, feelin' tall.
"Betcha can't swim to that log", I hear her voice say,
"Clear out there an' back- an' fast, all the way!"

So, dumb ol' me, I jumped in an' went;
Like it was some kinda blue ribbon 'Lympic event.
We stole watermelons, did other wild things;
An' thirty years later, her voice still rings -

In my ear, an' I see her, thumbs hooked in belt loops;
Bellerin' orders like I was one a' her troops.
But, we both grew up, an' she went away,
To some far off place, but here I did stay.

She's comin' back tomorrow, Gonna meet her train;
An' you bet. I'll be there - come hell or high water, hail or rain;
Her hubby passed on, an' my wife ran away,
An' my heart is still hers, to my dyin' day.

An'you know what this ol' boy's gonna do?
Gonna wait on that train, my heart beatin' true,
An' repeat the words I so oft heard her say -
"I dare you, darlin'. I dare you to stay."

by Donna Penley

Copyright © Donna Penley
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September 25, 2000 / John & Susan Howell / howell@kotn.org

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