Almost there

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

Image result for paintings and illustrations of a Western saloon with singer
Image found on Pinterest

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads NaPoWriMo: This Is (Almost) the End

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.

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27 thoughts on “Almost there

  1. I can almost smell the trail dust. This is precisely what I wanted with the prompt. Do you happen to know of the actor Patrick McGoohan? He’s from the UK, but always wanted to portray a cowboy. So, on his mini-series “The Prisoner”, they wrote an episode called “Living In Harmony” where he got to play…you guessed it…a cowboy. He did it very well, reigning back his distinctive accent and coming across as though he was just off the trail. I’ve sometimes wondered what westerns can mean to people from other places. Then again, I love stories of Empire, with red-coats in “Inja” or khaki-clad Brits in Burma. I’m not sure where you live, Kim, but gather it’s either in the UK or a Commonwealth country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this poem, the end of the trail and the decision to go on home although… most cowboys would have had a drink or two to clear their throats. Have you see Silverado? My favorite ever Cowboy movie staring Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover and a young Kevin Costner. Watch it sometime on YouTube.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Frank, I can’t begin to imagine what it was really like for those early settlers and for the Native Americans , although I have read about it and, of course, watched films.

      Liked by 1 person

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