Poetry

A Stranger Comes to Town – Emily Strauss

Every story begins the same:
a stranger comes to town
a half moon rose after midnight
crickets filled the quiet afternoon

he walked the only street
that begins at the eastern
outline of cottonwoods in the creek bed
and passes beyond the barns
down to the dry bottom lands
where the rivers leave their sand,
gravel edging the washes

the man enters the story here
with a long stride, dust-coated
pants not washed in months
glancing into doorways or
standing at the bar near a whiskey
bottle

now the story will begin:
behind his rheumy eyes
his face cracked and used

now men will listen
it is starting just now
        the moon gone, crickets
        silent, the glare leaping off
the white ground pounded hard
shadows forming in the corners
he is ready, the men expectant
        the sun shining
any minute now it will begin.

About these ads

One thought on “A Stranger Comes to Town – Emily Strauss

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s