The Cowboy Poem
The dusty street he wore inside brought coughs and tears to eyes
like rivers through the parched dry crags of burned and weathered skin.
Slapped into a cloud it rose, puffed up from clothes demised
but forced to service, nonetheless--ragged, worn and thin.
The cud he chewed was spat into a tin beyond his boot
as he shouldered fisted arms he slung across the bar.
Hunched, he fanned his money out, displaying copious loot,
then grinned a rakish, toothy smile and slipped coins in the jar.
"I've been up in yonder hills, buried in my gold,
entombed so long I feel plumb dead, for lack of sinful tunes.
Play me one for old time's sake? And make my beer real cold."
Who's Done What To Whom droned on all that afternoon.
And while that boy plunked down his coins, he cried and drank and swore
he'd sell his strike and give it up to head on back for home.
Why he'd suffered wind and snow, heat and rain that poured,
he thought he'd known those years ago when he'd left to roam.
But loneliness now stabbed a hole, a wound that wouldn't heal.
Shining window candle lights deep within his mind
tightened wires inside his heart, pulling metal wheels
to shut him off from deep-set needs that cancel out his kind.
Invisible, is what he thought, that's what I've become,
a nothing mind with Midas' gold, a hollow shrunken shell.