Beautiful Comfort

It’s something, isn’t it? That view.
That land that doesn’t care who your father is –
that doesn’t have water for those who don’t know how to find it,
and even then, only for the lucky.
That freedom. You see it? It’s something, isn’t it?

You ever think of the blood on that land? The Apaches. The whites.
You ever think of Geronimo’s unsleeping rifle and his quick knife?
This brutal land was in brutal contention, don’t you know that?
Jesus man, trees with heads stuck on, black tongues dangling.
Dark holes where eyes were before the birds got ‘em. Ha.

You know what it was back then? Liberty. Terrible liberty.
Pure nature, like a scouring wind blowing down all things weak.
Strong men coming down the road, and not always good men.
Scared fathers telling women and kids to hide. Fighting to hold
steady the barrel and the voice. Stop there, mister. What do you want?

Scary times, boy. Dangerous times; no question.
But think about how alive they must have felt,
to be so close to death all the time.
To live in daily fear of the bite of the blade
on your scalp. The sawing and screaming.

But, that’s all gone. America now is beautiful comfort.
A nice table in the shade. Cold beer. Ha.
Tame America. Maybe too tame.
There’s no room for horses in this New America.
What do you think about that?

We once had space you could thrust your life into.
Wildness you could smell.
A million-hoof roll you could feel in your neck, boy.
But we’ve replaced all that with air conditioning,
haven’t we.

These days, we watch the Cowboys and Redskins
on the flatscreen. Talk of your daddy’s business
while I suck on ice. Everything we need.
But freedom maybe.

2 thoughts on “Beautiful Comfort

  1. I really like this poem a lot. I’m especially impressed by your ability to write it like these people would speak. You really caught the tone and the colloquialisms. And you chose very crisp examples to get the attitude and the background across to the reader………the reader can see your examples, almost touch them, hear them. You appealed to every sense perception. Perfect poem! Bravo!

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