Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Busted out

the trick
is to go fast and go far
right there, on the edge
of where the four winds
come together

out beyond the amber ridge
across the rio bravo
makin sure, to leave no tracks
in the desolate valley

and forsake the roaring greyhound,
the trap of her easy ways, rather,
leap for that rambling boxcar and
her screeching iron wheels that
grind regret deep into polished rust

first day out, i traded my old plow horse
and sterling silver pocket watch
for a sprite apache pony, not five
hands high but a real coal burner

and i turned her north, then kicked
her west, before finally pointing her south

course, they hung the posters
on the ass of rats in subway stations
tucked em in the purse of grieving widows
and i even seen one on the ferry
at st louis, but

they never had a clue

while they was off a chasin shadows in fargo
i was bathing the dust off in chihuahua
had whiskey for breakfast
she had my smile for lunch, and
i had her love for supper

then rode with the moon while she dreamt of tomorrow

there was that cabin i built me
that spring in the high sierras
way back deep, in the tall tall pines
and the winter's worth of wood
i chopped in july, just to leave
in august with a never look back
ceptin to check my tracks

i even played priest for a short spell
in them carolina hills while they
hunted me in omaha
but i lost my congregation
over disputed prayer and
followed the ridge east

gave my john henry to a merchant
bound for england, just to chase
a good beer and shake the buzzards
only to find,- them folks got buzzards too

i left my mark on the wall
at chantilly's in ol new orleans
dirtied the sheets at Greta's
in fairbanks, and married
a pair of wolves in walla walla
in exchange for their secret

but i'm growin old and the times
they are a changin, and my bones
how they ache, and my pony's
gone back to the wild herd

and i've lost a step and the shine off my edge
too many nights i snuff the fire hearin
them hounds, a little closer than last night

my bread has grown stale
the whiskey seems watered
and the warden never retires

so the time has come, i reckon
to see if chief joseph was right
or just a damn fool who
smoked ancient ideology

do i lean to this tree, listen to her song,
and just wait for the posse?
or do i ride into town, turn in my ways
and finish my sentence in their cage
of forged iron?

it's true my crimes were nefarious
and rebellion must prove a just cause
but still i can't help but wonder
have i got one more ace in these
worn out cards? do i play my last chip?
steal one more pony, take one last
run for the border?

i hear the hounds
they've got my scent
but i heard there's still
some gold left up in the yukon
and still a few like me
searchin, runnin
tryin to decide