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America the Boothill-ful
Edwin S. Rice

Whatever happened to them cowboys
We used to have?
The ones John Wayne used to portray.
You know, the ones, if they
Saw some land they liked.
They’d just pull out their
Old six-shooter and tell the natives,
“Get them tents out of the way.
So’s we can build a town –
Elect a sheriff and send our
Kids to decent schools.

“You don’t know how to use that
Land nowhow. You got
Billions of passenger pigeons
Flying over and millions of
Buffalo grazzin’
And all you do is take what
You need for food and shelter.
You’ve got to get with the
Sport of it and bring them
Down to size
Shame on your laziness.”

An old settler said he had to
Show the non-believers the
Carcasses of twelve of those
Hairy beasts he’d killed in one afternoon.
No, they don’t have them old cowboys
Like they used to: where one wrong
Word and someone’s headed for
Boothill – he drawed first, but I’d
Best get the hell out of Dodge,
And find me some more
Glorious entertainment.

There’s “Big John,” now –
Rolling another reefer,
He looks around and says,
“Give me a light, Pilgrim.” he tells Slim,
“This afternoon we’re gonna chase
Some more natives off our land.”
Now that’s the America
We ought to go back to.
Park that pickup, – Put on
The dusty boots, and “ride ‘em cowboy”
It’s quiet out there – too quiet.

Submitted to The Examiner

Her curly hair was short and pert
She shoveled up the grim and dirt
And built a castle near the curb.

She frolicked in the crud and crust;
Her huge brown eyes so full of trust,
She built a dram from mounds of dust.

She hasn’t learned of tragic things.
In her young heart, innocence sings.
She lives the magic of her dreams.

Once forgotten; again I knew
Each dawn brings new shades blue.
Phoenix will rise, to start anew.

“Fear not,” He said, “Come unto me.”
Past Earthly trials, “Have faith and see.”
For dreams, O Lord, I now thank Thee.

The Wind That Sets You Free
By Glen Enlow
The world, it puts a weight on you,
Till you find that things must be;
Don’t sweat what you cannot control,
It’s the wind that sets you free.
You will ride high to the mountains
And the valleys far below;
You just have to ride on steady;
Never giving up on your soul.
And though the days now seem too dark,
With clouds far as we can see;
You hold fast to that inner strength;
It’s the wind that sets you free.