in POETRY, PROSE

GRANDPA

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With his brittle bones

and his sun cracked face

he rode near ‘bout every mile

of the round-up trail.

 

He licks the wind

and stares out at nothing

tobacco dripping lip, spits.

Hell, I fought the sun,

and I won

fought a sneakin’ coyote once,

he lost.

Broke rattlesnakes in half

between bare hands.

Got caught in the drought of the Tulsa ride, too.

 

Thought I’d die in that damn burning desert

never have I thirst, so much

for one wet drop.

They found me about four miles from Breakers Pass.

Eighteen-ninety-seven,

that was my last long ride.

Too many damn city boys

tryin’ to run the drive.

 

And now my grandson drives off

in that noisy pick-up.

He’ll never know the dry taste

of sand and grainy dust

between your teeth.

Wind kicking in your face

like a thousand angry hoofs

punched in your mouth.

 

And my friend,

cold black night.

 

Damn all this fancy fiddle.