Them's Fightin' Words, poem by Robin Harvey at

Them’s Fightin’ Words

Them’s Fightin’ Words

written by: Robin Harvey



Tell me why, my tin star, lover guy
we awake to clear and blessed dawns
skin-to-skin with the safety on
and you kiss me, hard.

As we tumble bullet-free through fevered musk
your breath burns our blistering bullshit crisp
and the milkweed wisps of last night’s railings are forgotten
dust in the wind.

Until my touch sparks a revenant
and once again I’m facing down tombstone eyes deep as the grave
gunning for me to start another round.

We’re back in the loop
it’s high noon at the “we’re-not-OK Corral”
with Annie Oakley and Wild Bill
locked and loaded for another go-round.

Enough with the macho swagger.
Go on, take your cheap shots,
your pot-shots,
your please-take-it-back shots.

Paint a bull’s eye on my heart
and fire off them fightin’ words
hit the mark and break me apart.

Dress me up in her finery
swing me from that hanging tree
you’ve strung up in her memory.

But maybe, cowboy, I’ll roll like a tumbleweed happy to dance on your grave.

So, before you fire another round
check your aim and line up your sites, gunslinger.

Cause I’ve got a Bowie knife
and a Colt 45
with her name etched on every bullet.

I’ll cut her down to size,
face down all six-foot-four of you
bury that woman in your churlish blues
and see her six feet under.

Then dead or alive
all you’ll see is me.

I will be the wanted one
with my face, my name
posted in black and white
on our bedroom wall.

Robin L Harvey

Robin L Harvey

Toronto’s Robin Harvey published her first collection of poetry, PTSD Poems to Slay Demons, last year. Harvey’s poetry has been published in numerous print and online journals and is to be included in two upcoming anthologies. She currently is a pop culture and arts critic at Not The Public Broadcaster and a book reviewer for IndieReader and Discovery. Harvey is a former award-winning reporter, editor, columnist, critic and public editor at The Toronto Star. Before that she acted in Canadian theatre at Bastion Theatre, Stage West, Actor's Trunk, Buddies in Bad Times and the Shaw Festival. Her work has been published in The Globe and Mail, the National Post, and throughout the Southam and Sun news chains. Harvey returned to creative writing as Managing Editor of AWS Publishing, a university online literary magazine. She’s a graduate of the Humber School for Writer’s post-degree Graduate Certificate Program where her thesis was awarded a Letter of Distinction. A mental health advocate, Harvey helped found the Institute for Journalism Studies in Addiction and Mental Health and coordinated Canada’ national Check-Up from the Neck Up mental illness anti-stigma campaign.
Robin L Harvey

Latest posts by Robin L Harvey (see all)