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The Saving of Joel Claughtrey, Part III

Joel just collapsed into the brown dirt,
clutching his face in both of his palms,
cried,”Running Moon, the day that you ‘died,’
was the day my life started to go wrong!

“I drank for days, mourning for you so,
It was failure, misery, and tears!
If I’d known you were still alive out there,
there would have been a point to the years.

“There would have been a reason not to give in,
not to think life was an awful, rigged game.
I never would have said ‘To Hell With it All,’
never surrendered to madness and pain.”

With that he shrank further into himself,
broken by the weight of all he had learned,
Then Running Moon knelt down by his side,
and with soft hands his rough face did turn.

There were tears in her lovely, brown eyes,
as she gazed long and deeply into his.
“I see him in there, the man that I loved.
Please tell me, are you worth all the risk?”

He nodded softly, his mind all a blur,
When a single, sharp thought then arose,
the rest of his gang would be rested now,
and he knew instantly just how things would go!

After coming this far they’d want something,
and not just to recover his gun,
they’d kill Red Hawk, maybe torture him first,
and with Running Moon they would have their ‘fun.’

He cried,”Go hide!  My gang will be here soon,
and they’re not the type to just let this pass.
I’ll buy you time, I’ll keep them at bay,
make your escape and get away fast!”

Running Moon’s eyes went wide with fear,
but Red Hawk, he did not move a bit,
he just walked to a nearby cluster of stones,
and behind the biggest one did sit.

“Will not be told what to do indeed,”
said Joel as his boy raised up his sights.
He shook his head, watched Running Moon run,
then turned around to face the new fight.

Long minutes passed, then he heard hooves,
three horses burst into the meadow,
Mitchell cried out,”We found their place now!”
Then a shot from Joel’s colt laid him low.

Jeff pulled his gun, ripped off a fast shot,
that grazed high up on Joel’s left shoulder,
he groaned in pain, then the rifle barked,
and from his horse Jeff quickly pitched over.

Dale charged forwards, hoping to trample him,
but Joel leapt right, away from the horse,
he rolled on the ground, brought his gun up,
and shot Dale as he came round for more.

He caught Dale hard, a slug in his right leg,
sending the man sprawling from his mount,
Dale jerked back up, aiming for Red Hawk,
Joel let loose, the hammer smashing down.


Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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