He stopped his horse at the top of the pass.
Reached for his brass telescopic looking glass.
Looking he saw this man of infamy, this man of fame.
The town was turning to purple and sunset flame.
Cool night air velvet spiked with sage and mesquite.
Gunfighter tests the air for death and finds sweet.
The breath of life he so often cancels.
The life that young men find fanciful.
He came to this town of his own volition.
To avenge wrongful attrition.
The death of a woman he’s loved for years.
Gazes at the picture in her locket fighting back the tears.
Rode to her farm to ask for her hand.
Tired of the killing, wandering the land.
In search of another with a price on his head.
Tired of outdoors with the desert for a bed.
Rode to her ranch and staired in disbelief.
His heart strained and filled with grief.
Her house turned to ashes and dust.
Searching for his love, find her he must.
His love of the years hanging from an old oak tree.
Her neck broken swaying gently in the evening breeze.
Her dress ripped and crumpled lying beneath her feet.
Her lifeless face still gentle, delicate, and sweet.
Died with dignity, to her tormentors gave no satisfaction.
Tears roll down his range-weathered face his final reaction.
The Gunfighter cut the rope that took his ladie’s life.
Holds her dear body while he resheathes his knife.
In her left hand he found clenched.
A glass eye from her captors she had wrenched.
Her delicate fingernails broken covered with blood.
Touching her battered hand to his lips could not hold back the flood
Of the tears and anger for his lady of the years.
Wipes his face dry from second-time tears.
In a rock grave he lays her on a hill above her ranch.
No headstone just a cross made from an old branch.
The Gunfighter is riding, the hawk is loose.
Will find the men who killed his love with a noose.
The Gunfighter, an ultimate killing machine.
Set loose on a mission, senses honed keen.
Thrust back into a life he wanted to leave.
To find these men his only reprieve.
Revenge the ultimate motivator.
The bullet, the ultimate rotator.
His love buried under rocks on a hill above her ranch.
No headstone just a cross made from an old branch.
Dark silhouette against a setting sun never to look back.
You can bet he’ll cut them no slack.
A gentle scent pulls him from his reverie.
Atop his horse at the pass smells the livery.
Of the town he sees at the top of the pass.
Hawk-eyed vigilance through a telescopic looking glass.
Nudges his horse, still clutching the locket of his love.
Closes the cover and looks up at the sky above.
To see a shooting star fly by.
A sorrowful wind dries the tears with a sigh.
The tears are gone replaced with Hell’s fire.
New motivation will help him aspire .
To heights above human distraction.
His lethal speed, with polished reaction.
His reputation never preceding, shy of the limelight.
Has never found death to be a pretty sight.
Rides into town on his dapple gray.
This one’s for free with no pay.
Heads his horse for the livery stable.
Shakes off the dust not much like the fable.
Of the fancy dudes in some snappy duds.
His with range dust and West Texas mud.
Asks the blacksmith about a one-eyed man.
The blacksmith points to a paint with a bar z brand.
Says he been in town about two days before.
With blond hair and the side of his face tore.
Says four of them are staying at the Oriental.
One spoke with an accent Occidental.
Gunfighter walks into the street under the moonlight.
Checks his gun before every gunfight.
Tall dark figure bathed in ethereal light.
Steps up to the Oriental like a wind of the night.
Looks through the window at the roughnecks and buffoons.
Milling around in the Oriental’s saloon.
Walks through the doors of the Oriental Saloon.
A silence falls over the rough necks and buffoons.
Who have never seen a real killing machine.
Sharp eyes peer through dark features with hawk’s gleam.
Glides up to a corner table and sits down.
Desires to be inconspicous in this town.
A fight breaks out on a table acrossed the room.
A blond man dies in the gathering gloom.
Hyena’s laugh from a one-eyed pistol waver.
His death will this mad dog saver.
This predator is on the bottom of the food chain.
Young man’s life running out on the floor is slain.
By this man with a patch over one eye.
Young gun’s girl starts to cry.
Pistol waver feels the glint of hawk vision.
Turns to see the darkness of his decision.
Sees a shadow six foot two inches tall,
With a metallic deep voice out of a long cold hall.
“I’ve got somthin I think you need.”
“Ive got somthin that’s gonna make you bleed.”
Gunfighters words hit like a sledge hammer.
Made the one-eyed man shake and stammer.
“I’ve got no beef with you” came his wavering plea.
All of one-eyes senses were telling him to flee.
His glass eye rolled acrossed the floor and hit his chair.
Death’s voice”pick it up if you dare!”
The Gunfighter draws back his black duster.
Unshrouds the Colt he will muster.
One-eyed mans sees his eye spinning on the floor.
Suddenly realizing the shadow will settle the score.
One-eyed mans in a box canyon no way out.
Will die in a gunfight tonight there’s no doubt.
Spins around reaching for his Colt.
Gunfighter’s bullet impacts his head with a jolt.
One-eye looses the other in this fight.
A just ending for his plight.
“Upstairs!” comes a voice from the back of the room.
Gunfighter’s Colt goes off again with a boom.
One-eye’s fat friend falls through the railing to the floor.
Two more notches to add could be two more.
Gunsmoke and blood fill the air of the Oriental.
Gunfighter’s ears taste the accent Occidental.
Hears the boards on the front porch creak.
Man from Europe tries to speak.
As he reaches for his piece.
Gunfighter’s Colt explodes in sweet relief.
Europe’s voice box blown out into the street.
Collapses on the floor there’s no retreat.
For the voiceless Occidental.
Lying dead on the floor of the Oriental.
Shotgun comes up from the corner out of the black.
Hammers cocking pointed at the Gunfighter’s back.
He turns to see the flash from a young man’s Colt.
As the shotgun falls from the young gun’s thunderbolt.
Boy’s gun is low and shirt open to the chest.
Smiles and reholsters his Colt says he’s not as fast as the rest.
Wild as a panhandle Texas Twister.
Young gun says “I figure I owe you one mister.”
“Your drunk son” says the man in black.
To the only man he’s ever cut any slack.
“We’re even I fig’er, make sure you tell no lies.”
Smiles at young gun with a twinkle in his eyes.
Steps out onto the board walk breathes the cool night air.
Removes his hat, runs his hands through his hair.
Glad he didn’t take that life so fair.
Understands now why he bothered to care.
Dave Proffitt –8/14–8/18/1996