The Badlands

Written by: Charles Ruble

You can see them comin over the ridge,
The sun at their back.
The outline of their steeds they ride,
The dust they are kicking up as they blaze their trail.
The cowboys ride into town without fear in their eyes.
Years of trails wear on their skin,
Making their hands look like the leather of their gun belts.
They dismount and you can hear the leather of their saddles crackle.
The walk they have is of a gunslinger on the run,
The look of a cowboy that has no trust.
The squint in their eyes from the noon sun,
So many days of sitting in the saddle wearing on the pants they wear,
The horses drinking as though it's their last taste of water.
Trouble brewing in the air,
You can almost smell the gun powder.
Other horse men ride in with a thunderous ride,
Gun shots are heard,
They ring out like echoes of balls of a canon.
All is quiet once more,
Three lay dead.
The badlands make no sound,
Until the next possy rides to town.