THE STARGAZER'S RIDE
(or THE LAST SPURRING LICK)
Saddle shoulder-tossed like feather light
Aging cowboy strutted for the crowds
The throngs that mingled in his mind
From past glory, cheering loud.
Across his shoulder down his back
Leather mended with great care
Oiled and rubbed with tender hands
A woman never stirred such love.
Excitement scuttled--- colors blazed---
whooping kids these afternoons—
Livestock stirr and kicked the stalls
inhaling echo pumped excitement’s blur—
Colors mixed with fear and joy
Set the boldest man on edge
Broken bones mere memories--
Blotted out behind the thrills
That bucked behind the unknown stalls.
A sudden certainty grabbed him
As real as bucking in the stalls
His breath still strong and stalwart sure
The sounds and colors shimmered on
Visions flashed from death to glory
Called to thrills that grind the soul.
He'd had his fill of limps and aches
No delights in growing old .
Today he'd end his life on fire
A rank Star gazer sucking back
His time the best—tho body crushed
He’d give this crowd a shattering crack
spurring lick--the movement of a cowboy's feet
Rank—hard animal to ride
Star gazer- animal that bucks with his head up
Suck back: animal that suddenly switches direction