Affection Bandit Blues Decades ago my green canoe ran aground, so I’m slumpin’ on a sandbar surrounded by ardent bucks paddlin’ the River Amore unwary of wakes, snakes, a treacherous shore. I’m a retired Ol’ Man tryin’ to forget my regrets, bouncin’ my shoes to the affection bandit blues. Floatin’ down the River in my thirties, my squintin’ blue eyes searched the levees, like a bald eagle seekin’ catfish and carp, wantin’ to see a smilin’ gal wavin’ to me, blowin’ red kisses, beckonin’ my boat to a ramp of crushed rock or a rickety dock. Steered clear of nasty women lookin’ for screws, but she could be oblong, obese, oddly hewed. On the muddy bank, we’d bed down on a blanket cushioned by cattails, blue verlain, coneflowers. Touched ‘em feathery (no scratch or neck bruise). A spiritual connection of an hour’s duration or two. Even if they wanted a gown, a weddin’ cake, I launched my canoe, left ‘em in a watery wake. They had proved I was lovable. That was enough. Beamed as I paddled past bluffs, huffin’ barges, not realizin’ my fevered gazes and gallantry expressed nuthin’ but my affection banditry. No druggin’ pills like the funny TV father, no job promises or threats like the producers, no unzipped pants or grabbin’ like the Presidents. Yet I wonder now if some women remember me and shout “MeToo’s” to the skies. That’s why I blush and sing the affection bandit blues. Memories come in a meanderin’ stream. Lonely gals who loved me for a night, then waited for a call that never came. When a friend was liftin’ the trunk of her car, I caressed the plums of her tree ‘til she swatted free. Names that make me feel guilty: Cindy, Cathy, Nancy. Now I’m an Ol’ Man drained of pirate dreams, watchin’ other fools comin’ unspooled in the steamin’ whirlin’ pools of the River Amore. Sure, I was wronged as much as I wronged, but now that my paddle’s been termite chewed, all I can do is bray the affection bandit blues. .