The Rancher

We used to see vinegaroons sometimes out in West Texas. All but harmless, the one I remember was 4 inches long and terrifying. If I didn't scream, I assure that I felt like I did.  Photo taken from scorpion-forum.com

We used to see vinegaroons sometimes out in West Texas. All but harmless, the one I remember was 4 inches long and terrifying. If I didn’t scream, I assure that I felt like I did. Photo taken from scorpion-forum.com

Trekking out
in a jagged desert sunrise
and at sunset —
fiery disc hacking its way
out of night and back in again.
Dogs at his heels,
checking feed and water,
recently calved cows
and their young;
driving fence-lines —
eagle-eyed for breaches,
coyote spoor,
and unexpected predators.
Noting the occasional wonder,
maybe a star-cactus
out of place,
an arrowhead,
a pictograph,
a tarantula,
a vinegaroon.

This is NOT "the" hat. But I added it for effect. From antiques.about.com

This is NOT “the” hat, but it was John Wayne’s hat. Close enough. ‘-) From antiques.about.com

I imagine his days,
and a light gray
felt showdown hat
comes to mind —
sweat-stain continents
mapped around the
brim and leather band –
places he dreamed up
under long rays of desolate heat,
stories unspoken,
gone now, along with other fictions.

~LD

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