Sketching with Words

Not a poem. Just words sketching a drawing, since I never graduated from stick figures in third grade art. My folks had a lot of artwork around the house. Portraits of Native Americans and cowboys. I used to make up stories to match their solemn faces.

Old Cowboy

He had hands of a man marked for death
Pocked and pitted
Translucent with veins, battered with time
The colorful spectrum of a slow disease
An old ranch hand, with eyes the color of muddy sky
Sun-baked skin swallowing the flesh of his face
Gathered, much like the care in which he kept his bedroll
He would make it to headquarters today
Find his voice uneasily
Words laid buried in the roots of the junipers under which he laid
The thought of it left him trepid
The clouds above, shapely, the wide hips, thin waist of a woman he had known
Had smiled upon
On his horse, his fingers knotted around his reins
A cool reminder of who he was
As he watched her tear into paper sails
And ride away


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