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C.A. Head, 07 Jan '13

Reflections of a Cowboy.

I only know the life of the range. The squeak of leather chaps, the singe of hide under the branding iron, the smell of gunpowder, the sting of dirt kicked up by hooves, the sunsets desperate with loneliness.

Civilization has come with a fury. Progress they call it. Trains, coaches and wagons each day cradling dozens of new people who flee the east for all their good reasons--ambition, greed, escape from creditors, wives, boring jobs and revengeful fathers. Progress snuffs out the simplicity of things. The right and wrong takes on too much nuance.

Here, a man tries to take your horse, your woman or your dignity and you kill him--Short and sweet. This new breed, dripping with fancy ideas backed by words written on some paper I can't read have other ideas. They believe in law but not in justice.

If that weren't true how could a man who has worked ten acres for more than seven years lose his homestead to a banker he's never laid eyes on. For that matter, how could the Cherokee lose the two mountains (and the land in between) which holds the bones of their fathers and their fathers' father.

When did sacred become something to dismiss because it only had meaning in the bible but not in the heart of a people. When did honor only apply to the ways of "gentleman" who proclaimed the status with wool suits and fancy hats worn for decoration.

I hear the coyote's call--a long, sweet howl of loss. The flames of my fire lick the sky creating dancers in the night. Sleep nudges me like my horse when it wants a sugar cube.

Comments · 2

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  • Susie Shircliff said...

    "Civilization has come with a fury." I love this line. I love this character he reminds me of the great great grandfather of my character in this burrst:

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • C.A. Head said...

    @Susie Shircliff: I liked your piece. Yes, I feel the same raw sense of wonder and indignation at how the times have changed. Good work.

    • Posted 10 years ago