Grandpa and the Old West This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

when i was young
i remember grandpa telling me
about the Great Old West
and the times of pioneers,
and red howling indians
and cowboys,
the gunfights and saloons,
real live action,
the heroes of old,
of america when it was really
great.
his stories would
open my eyes to everything
and i loved him for it.
i reenacted the
scenes of solitude lone ranger
out in the plains,
in backyards with tire-swings,
after spending another
afternoon on the porch out in the country
with gramps,
shooting up the baddies
with a lick and a promise
not to miss next time
with the boy from next door
who would always
stop in the middle of the
high-intense shootouts to
listen to the whistling trains that
zoomed by on the horizon,
i'd stop too, but only because i'd
hear my mama calling me for dinnertime
and realize how hungry i was.
we'd say our hasty, cowboy goodbyes
(just a nod of the head)
me heading home,
dried mud on my kneecaps
and sweat sticking my hair
to my forehead,
the neighbour boy going to cross
the railroad tracks to meet up with
the kids from the other
side of town, but
in our mixed up child hearts,
even from a distance
we both knew
just how everything
was going to be alright
and that tomorrow
we'd finish off that gunfight.





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