A saddle-worn cowboy on the road
hears the promise of amber bourbon
in the strains of a lonesome tune.
He slaps a dusty faded Stetson
against his aching thigh
and wipes the grit from his eye.
There’s an arduous ache
in the back of his throat that begs
for that golden liquid burn.
His swollen tongue is dry
and his gut starts rumbling
at the scent as supper eggs fry.
Outside the open door he watches
guys at cards and drinking beer,
hears the last few words of the song
and decides to carry on, along
the road to home, where fresh-brewed
coffee’s waiting on the stove.
Kim M. Russell, 2019
Shay reminds us that it’s day 29 of NapoWriMo and offers congratulations to all who have made it this far, and to all who have tried. She says that this isn’t the end, but the end is just around the corner – and that’s what she’s like us to write about. Shay says that, sometimes, the moment just before something ends is as poignant as the actual ending, and shares lines from a Bob Dylan song as an example of someone who hasn’t left yet, but knows he’s about to.
So we are writing about almost-endings – endings that haven’t happened yet, but are surely close at hand. Shay has put no restrictions on length or form, but asks for new poems.
This poem has been haunting me since yesterday, when I posted a poem about an ‘almost Western’, Soldier Blue. Cowboy films were the only way to find out about the history of America when I was a child.