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Curtis Gray - story of the Old West

Curtis Gray
copyright 2011 by jon gutmacher

Curtis Gray walked in the bar
he’d traveled very, very far
thru the mountains
thru the hills
after panning for gold
for years

He had one horse
he had one mule
and he was for certain
no one’s fool
but it was long
since he took a drink
or saw another man

He plunked a coin right on the bar
they looked at him
from close and far
deciding what kind of man he be
this stranger
from the hills

The barkeep asked him wence he came
and then he asked this stranger’s name
and Curtis Gray looked him in the eyes
and froze him there . . .
like he had died

“I’m Curtis Gray – a mountain man
I pan for gold throughout the land
I’m tough as nails
and twice as strong
but I’m here – just for a drink

And then a man rose from the back
he had a gun sticking from a sack
he approached real slow
and came abreast 
and suddenly –  punched Curtis
right in the chest

And Curtis looked at him - right in the eyes
and then he smiled 
with great surprise
he’d thought him dead
these many years
and that ol’ man almost
wiped some tears

“Oh, brother,
How did you escape?
those injuns had us 
at the lake
I saw three of them 
take you down
you should be dead, ol’ son!

And Blackjack Sam – that was his name
laughed at that – and life’s great game
and pulled the scalps from deep the bag
that was below his gun

“Oh, Curtis – you old devil, you!
I cannot die – I thought you knew
I took em all
I did em good
and now they’re dead
as dirt!

And then those two brothers
did embrace
both alive
through God and Faith
and drink they did
perhaps too much
and laughed into the night

For things were tough
back in those times
and in the high country
only grit
kept you alive
and some survived against the odds
but they were men 
of steel 

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 10/15/2019 11:49:00 AM
Lines of sweetness, thoughts of goodness, a complete piece, wonderful craft.
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jon gutmacher
Date: 10/15/2019 12:52:00 PM
Funom - you brought tears to my eyes on this somewhat forgotten poem that deserves so much more than obscurity. With deep thanks -- jon gutmacher
Date: 12/2/2018 1:35:00 PM
A magnificent story teller you are my friend! Now I am off to wrap gifts for my granddaughters. Happy Holidays! : )
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jon gutmacher
Date: 10/15/2019 12:53:00 PM
Hey, Connie -- it only took me almost a year to say how much I appreciate your comments -- almost time for you to begin wrapping next year's gifts, huh? Well, your comments were a true gift to me, and I really appreciate it. jon
Date: 11/20/2018 5:00:00 PM
Such vivid description you told a very realistic story Jon:-) hugs Jan xx
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jon gutmacher
Date: 11/20/2018 6:32:00 PM
Thanks, Jan. Very much appreciated. To me, the story is everything. Have a great Thanksgiving. jon
Date: 11/18/2018 12:08:00 AM
You had my attention from the very start till the very end :)
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jon gutmacher
Date: 11/18/2018 7:55:00 AM
with deepest regards and thanks for your comments. jon
Date: 11/15/2018 4:29:00 PM
I guess those times were hard and people then as now didn't trust each other much. Guess they couldn't. Great story. God Bless, JB
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jon gutmacher
Date: 11/15/2018 6:38:00 PM
Hey, Judy. Thanks for the read. I've been laying low on poetrysoup the last several days due to some health issues. Thanks for the uplift. jon
Date: 11/13/2018 11:59:00 AM
Loved it Jon, tough as nails ol' Curtis...
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jon gutmacher
Date: 11/13/2018 8:12:00 PM
Thanks, Charlie. Really enjoyed reading yours. jon