New Poetry…Let’s Go Out West

The Long Trail © by Trisha Sugarek


The Circle Heart brand on the wet rump
rippled as the horse shivered with exhaustion
the sun lost its battle with night and
dropped behind the far peak


Chaparejos, worn thin and soft fit his legs
like they had grown there

dusty spurs jangled as he trotted into the sleepy town
a saddle that had seen a thousand miles
creaked and complained as he stepped down
the crown of his hat stained with sweat
from the hard ride


Reins dangled in the dirt
the horse hung his head, relieved
to not be moving

A drink or two to wash the Santa Fe Trail dust
from the cowboy’s throat
he stepped up onto the boardwalk,
turned and gazed at the town
the mountains beyond the color of old blood
as the sun lost its glory


He pulled a cigarillo out, with one smooth
movement wiped a match on his pants,
the tiny flame ignited
he puffed and blew smoke into the evening air
watched the town close up for the night
Across the street a cur scurried around a corner
a merchant keyed his shop closed and
lit the gas lantern beside his door

The work had been good at the Circle Heart ranch,
the grub even better
But the trail was his siren, always calling him,
luring him over the next hill,
down the next wash,
up the next canyon 

sleeping next to a small camp fire,
staring at a billion stars
wondering if someone, something out there
was staring back

He wanted to settle but he hadn’t found
the right place
the right woman
the right time

Flicking the smoke into the street, he turned
and sauntered into the saloon,
honky-tonk piano played
the doors behind him whispered back and forth

The patrons saw another dusty, tired cowpoke,
looking for a few hours of pleasure
some music, some whiskey, and if he could afford it
the soft body of a woman

The cowboy saw weak town folk,
forever saddled to their days
the bit in their mouths dictating their lives
wary of any stranger, their gaze shied away

Set ‘em up and keep ‘em comin’, the cowboy barked
Show me your coin, the barkeep growled

His days were numbered,
the boys from the Circle Heart ranch
would find him and the horse
They would take their horse and probably string
him up to the nearest tree.

A Review:   Stark reality saturates your little bit of ink.”  from a fellow poet


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