He’s head-down, hanging on to the last loyal gasps
Of his grim-boned, stretch-necked mare,
Tired from the flight,
After the last fight.
Passed the two hundred notches mark;
Rifle responsibility heavy on aching
Rein wrenched shoulders.
It’s not going to last much longer –
It can’t –
Surprised he got this outlaw-far.
The road goes ever on, that’s for legend-sure,
Just no guarantee who’ll be on it
Or which way the wind’ll blow;
Though he realises that only now,
Too damned late, but with a wry smile.
The blues, the reds,
The lines and the grey …
How had he managed to
Evade them for so long?
The horse stumbles, blood
Flecks from flared nostrils
Splash to the dust.
It’ll stop hurting
When the pain has gone.