Little Big Horn
On the escape west from the Mississippi
rolling from Belle Fourche to Lame Deer,
across Wyoming into the Black Hills,
sunflowers nodding on the road bed,
a highway so straight you could sharpen
a straight razor on its white lines.
Crows hover in a luminous sky
feeding on stinking carrion by the roadside.
Battling the car’s third gear ever west
along the Powder River and Reno’s bivouac.
till I look down at the Little Big Horn.
Rattlesnakes roll like drunks in the switch grass.
Destiny waiting among cottonwoods filled
with Cheyenne, Sioux, Bloods and Lakota.
Real life waits back at the fort, the women
in their crinoline and the Gatling Gun
left in its box so we might move faster.
We have even crated our silver sabers.
The hair on my neck rises, heat burning the
scratchy buckskins round my groin.
This is madness, of course, a wild gamble
against all that heaven holds dear.
Elizabeth’s beautiful smile, the years to come,
one more sunrise over the mountains.
Now, spur the horse, grab the bridle
and dive into a hell of our own making.