The Old Man From Garrow

by Zane Blom


On a squalid stretch of nowhere setting sun,
a crow note pierced the lurid Brandum skyline.
A cowboy stepped into the light, agaze
in his remembrance and conviction.

And the silence rose like smoke upon the town.
And it wafted bitter acrid on his tongue.
And they backed into the distance,
for they knew the Garrow man had come for vengeance.

Then he saw the Stetson floating from the corner,
and he knew that he was thirty years his senior.
But his aches, though they were begging,
not a one appeased his itchy trigger finger.

And he said, “Funny you should find yourself in Brandum,
’cause I know that you’re the one who killed my sister.
And if Providence would take her,
I can surely send the devil to his maker.”

And the younger man was taken by the figure
of the old man who had stepped into the twilight
and dared to bet his whiskey-tainted blood
upon the fading Brandum skyline.

And he said, “Better you’d have hung your hat in Garrow,
’cause I see that you’re a fool who’s lost his mettle.
And your eyes have turned to yellow
’cause they surely see your pistol hand is shaking.”

And the barrels lifted just before the sound
of the crack that evermore would haunt the twilight
and the minds of the beholders
who had ceased their whiskey-catatonic vigil.

And the older man of Garrow stood assuaged
by the pistol that had never done him wrong.
And he knew that he had beat him
before the younger man had buckled to the ground.

And the barrenness of echoes tells a tale,
and the haze of retribution drifts forever.
And he headed west for Garrow,
and the dusk he prayed would finally rest his sister.


Copyright © 2014 by Zane Blom

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