Small train of pack horses walking slow,
five of them, to be precise,
on the shore of this rock-choked river,
opposite where I make my way.
Led by three men wearing buckskin,
one is Injun, must be their guide,
must’ve married into the tribe
or they wouldn’t be so friendly.
Their hoses full of plews, like mine,
a year’s work of trapping beaver
in icy pools by granite peaks,
all fringed by ramrod-straight spruces.
I ride one horse and lead two more,
fetlocks splash in the shallow water,
had to divert through the river
to avoid a stretch of rocky bluff.
Didn’t want too, I had no choice,
now three of them can see me plain,
see my year’s worth of beaver pelts,
out here where man makes his own law…
Maybe they’re the honorable sort,
but coin does strange things to a man.
grasp tight my big Hawken rifle
as one of them calls out to me…
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2019