Bruce Kiskaddon Poems >>
An Old Western Town

An old western town lay asleep in the sun
Of a long summer day that was then almost done.
The shadows were long and the hosses stood 'round
Sort of restin' one leg and their head hangin' down.
Two cow punchers down at the "Last Chance" saloon
Was tryin' to sing. They was both out of tune.
At one end of the street that was dusty and narrow
A scratchin' the dirt was some chickens and sparrows.
The dogs slept in the shade and the people they strolled
Like they felt plum contented in body and soul.
If you looked just a little way off to the west
You could see the high mountains with snow on their crest.
The shadows of clouds drifted over the flat
And it shore made a right purty pitcher at that.
A drunken cow puncher was ready to go
And he figgered he'd ort to put on a big show.
He spurred and he hollered and shot his six gun,
And he aimed to take out with his hoss on the run;
But he didn't remember his cinches was slack
Until after he got his old pony ontracked.
That cow hoss he started to buck and to bawl
And got rid of that cow puncher saddle and all.
And before that drunk waddy got clear of the wreck
He was bit by two dogs, which he didn't expect.
The hoss he bucked into a long hitchin' rack
Where a team was hitched to a wagon raired back.
They lit out a draggin' the old rattle trap
And swingin' the broke ends of two hitchin' straps.
A whole lot of people come from everywhere
The sparrows and chickens they took to the air.
The kids made for cover, the women all screamed
And the dogs was all chasin', that runaway team.
A feller run out like some man allus did
A yellin' and jumpin' and wavin' his lid.
When the hosses got close why the man lost his nerve.
He got out of the way but he made the team swerve.
They tore down the porch posts in front of the store.
They busted the winder and several things more.
They was off of their feet when at last they got stopped
Piled up in a heap with the wagon on top.
They was fast in the harness, one hoss nearly strangled,
But the crowd went to work and they got 'em untangled,
But just when they started to take 'em away
The storekeeper come out with plenty to say.
His place had been wrecked, but what made it worse still
The man with the team owed the store man a bill.
He swore he would take it all out of his hide
He shore wasn't bluffin, he got in and tried.
But most of the citizens present they reckoned
That the storekeeper come off a mighty pore second.
The town marshall come with his badge and his gun
Just in time for a drink when the whole thing was done.
The sun soon went down. Then a few golden streaks
From the afterglow showed on the snowy peaks.
The kerosene lamps shed a soft yellow light
Where the town folks was cookin' their supper that night.
'Twas a real western night with no fog or no haze
The stars hung in clusters so bright that they blazed.
Some neighbors they gathered to visit and talk
You could hear the slow foot steps along the board walk.
There sprung up a soft gentle breeze from the west
One after another the lights went to rest
And the curtain of night settled quietly down
On that best of all places, and old western town.