Picture Clint’s flinty-eyed stare
as he squints into the harsh sun
down an abandoned street.
Ears attuned for the chink-clink of the villain’s spurs
hear only the eerie moan of the nor’wester.
Silt swirling in small twisters is
flung like an insult into Clint’s eyes,
the grey, turgid liquid that spewed forth
now desiccated by the unforgiving Canterbury sun.
but the sole arrival is a family carload
seeking the solace of the state-sanctioned sea.
Dad winces as he drives through Dodge City,
and his suspension surrenders to another pothole.
Dusty venetian blinds are
closed like the eyes of the dead,
the blanched grass clutches at the windows,
and weeds suffocate once proud gardens,
fissures scar the lawn
with the earth’s vengeance.
Clint springs like a cougar at
a shadow in his peripheral vision,
but the villain is already out of range,
running carelessly towards a life full of promise.