Tex sat alone at the mirrored bar,
Lone Tree Saloon, a grizzled cowpoke,
dry from a week on the summer range.
“Leave the bottle,” he said. Belle did.

A lone tear inched slow down his cheek,
finding its way past a couple of scars,
unseen behind an uncombed beard.
He mourned the West of long past years.

It was late on Saturday night,
painted ladies, a few lonely pokes
elbows on beer stained tables.
All wearied by dust and life.

Belle swiped her towel down the polished bar,
“Tex, you know Shorty’s a-comin’ for you.”
“Well, I’m here,” shifting his coat away,
he patted his right hip with a grim smile.

The bat-wing doors swung open wide,
Shorty ducked his head to come inside,
blinked a bit to the sudden glare,
and lumbered slowly to the bar.

“Tex, you rat, didn’t think you’d show.
You’re way too slow for me, you know.”

“Of course I’m here, it’s about time.
Clear the way back there, he’s mine.”

Shifting chairs and booted feet,
Shorty’s aim was seldom true.
Blood might spill, likely to,
cowboys wanted it not be their own.

Belle set the target by that far rear wall.
a fresh new dart board, standing tall
marched Tex and Shorty ten paces each
“Draw just three darts, and try to reach.”

“Two liter coke for the winner,
diet or regular.”

Gus Daum



About degus221

A Kansan who has migrated to Oregon.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to COWTOWN USA

  1. C Ford says:

    Great painted picture with a humorous ending!


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