final dismount, final ride
pasture waits for dappled roan
girth mark of the lonely byways
lather from the battles flown
dew eyed weary, spinal backed
stumble step'd and nostril blown...
stirrup brass with bugle hung
faded strap and leather worn
bridle twisted, crackled spur
broken packboard, blanket torn
carbine scabbard, saddle sore
salt and stain wrung round the horn...
cosmoline and splintered stock
powder burned and pointed lead
flashpan crusted, blackened sight
ramrod tamped and barrel fed
faceless names etched in the action
thunder echoed, eardrums bled...
now the rider, less the man
mustered out a thousand suns
restless eye and palsied hand
scattered mind behind the gun
drumbeat sigh and breaking heart
no true glory grasped and won...
in the world
of the world
in joy's cascade as much as grief
while seasons end
wind blows down the autumn leaf.