Wednesday, January 13, 2010

He Says That He Will Never Die...

They came in from Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee. They came in groups, they came as families, came as soldiers, came together and alone. They rode their horses until their horses died underneath them, left their broken wagons on the side of the trail and kept walking West. They never felt such heat. They didn't know where they were headed, a lot of them didn't much care. They brought their music with them, brought their whiskey. Soldier's Joy, Bonaparte's Retreat, Run Rabbit Run. They came in from Sweden, Ireland, France and Illinois. Came with family bibles, family trees carefully inked into the pages. Came in with Jesus ringing in their ears and there were times when they shot down everything in sight. They came in on the run, orphaned and alone. Their teeth hurt, they stank. Some of them found their fortune, some lived longer than others. A few went home eventually but most of them stayed. They named the blank spots on the map after the places they had left behind. Shamrock, Texas. Hudson, Wyoming. Bismarck and Greenwich and Coeur d'Alene. They tried to carve out something familiar into the moonscape desolation around them.

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