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Evoking the West Part 2 (After Cormac McCarthy) March 11, 2010

He rides sullen past lizards sucking the forming dew from the agave leaves. Through cracked riverbeds. Onward to higher ground. The mesa is smoking in the distance. Fort Sill is sacked. The front gate is splintered inward and shattered shards decorate the courtyard. Dried carcasses of work animals are perch and prey for several satisfied preening vultures. Beyond the grim decorations is erected a beacon of glowing tanned red hide. The single tee-pee sits in the dust like a desert bloom. Glowing him welcome, a needed respite from the trail he enters. A flap of brittle buffalo hide creeks as he pushes his way past a flap entering.
Geronimo offers him a tin mug of steaming chicory which he gladly accepts. A small fire projects warm colored lights into the crevasses of the old war medicine man’s thoughtful face.
Geronimo isn’t there. The fort gives way to a heavily polished bar of ash. His elbow is soaking up a small pool of whiskey dribbled from his glass when his thoughts were elsewhere. Geronimo, ever resolute, stares at him from his supplicated pose surrounded by general Crook and his many mustachioed troops. Its no longer 1886. The White Men are coming, the White Men are coming. The White Men are here with fire-water, disease and an unquenchable thirst for land that isn’t theirs. With a flick of his wrist he takes the shot as Geronimo watches from above the bar in an old gilded frame. The drink burns him all the way down to his feet that are barely touching the good Earth. He splits apart. His head, his body, his legs separate and spin like a cyclone on the open prairie.
–J Bessoff

Categories: Red Rider's Lament

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