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Monday, November 9, 2015

The Last Trail for Big John (for John Miller)


Step by step on gravel
dirt or pavement
one foot goes in front
He is lucky enough
to have one leg
Age can make a leg
heavy as a roped beef
that bawls out
grounded in the branding
His last saddle
surrounded by food
and medicine bottles
Back and forth
one grabs this or that
to leave
to save a later effort
along the way
To pass the laundry
sister folded
a towel is grabbed
to dry the dish of the day
or to drop off a dirty towel
of a forgetful nurse
This path is way beyond
the year of rowdy youth
who wasted time and energy
on a ranch or at the bar
to make fences for his body
Some paths are scratched
by a false appendage
that tears at floors
No edges of danger rugs here
Sometimes the bones
in the last knee
click like a dead battery
in an orange and white taxi
adding pain to the meter
TVs are heard outside
for ears who trace
a softer path
Spots grow on skin
with livers blamed
who claim false accusation
The trail to here
fades in dimming eyesight
This chair raises a foot
and lowers a head
until the sun sets
as the last ride
puts two ghost feet
in the stirrups
It could be Fruita
the Hart Ranch
or Blackhawk
where this cowboy
ropes an angel
that flew in front
of his saddled lightning


Barry G. Wick

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