One and Only

by Francis Y. Algonkin about a year ago in vintage

The Duke

One and Only

They called him "The Duke", his triumph was no fluke.

Tall and handsome fella, his fame was like a nuke.

Born in Iowa, grew up in Southern California.

His first big role was in The Big Trail,

Like a true cowboy, he liked to drink ale.

In 1939 John Ford made him an instant star,

For every Western movie, he was like a czar.

When he played a cattleman driving his herd,

No one could object, they all just said: "Word."

A Civil War veteran whose young niece was abducted,

A gruesome move which kidnappers have regretted.

A troubled rancher competing with a lawyer,

For the first time barrister didn't have an answer.

In True Grit a one-eyed marshal he played,

Some really bad men he dismayed.

And The Oscar he won!

He had seven children from three marriages,

Spread his genes for the ages.

When Khrushchev visited the US, he was no prim,

he had two wishes: visit Disneyland and meet him!

In The Longest Day he stormed the beaches of Normandy,

Everybody liked him, he was the pride of his country.

What took him from this world was cancer,

Like Davy Crockett in The Alamo, taken by a lancer.

His life and legacy will never be in vain,

He's, ladies and gentlemen, one and only, John Wayne!

Read next: I Am A Bullet.
Francis Y. Algonkin

Writer, interested in many themes, very creative and outspoken.

See all posts by Francis Y. Algonkin