Country Town


Dick wasn't born a cowboy,
but oh, in his dreams...
He rode the sagebrush dotted plains,
and drank from clear blue streams.


He'd unroll his bedroll;
sleep under starlit skies.
Then ride again when morning came --
but he knew it was all lies.


For underneath a leather vest
a derringer he would strap
And each morning don a business suit,
and smile at other saps.


He'd drudge through one more banking day
to earn another dollar...
Then fall in bed all tuckered out
to ride through Dead Man's Holler.


Safe behind his cage by day,
locked in his dreams by night,


He trapped himself for thirty years
until he lost all sight
Of reality; granite; brick;
of business suit and ties.
For Dick lived only in his dreams;
loved only starlit skies.


He never gave a second glance
to those who sauntered by
And, safe behind his vested chest,
he yearned -- but never cried --


And No one knew the little man
behind the teller's cage
Who rarely smiled and rarely spoke
was filled with silent rage


Until midway the thirtieth year
-- just at payroll time --
On June the twenty-second
at a quarter after nine


In slickers well below their knees,
their collars turned up high,
Their hats pulled low down on their brows...
two scum gave Dick a try.


At the door one drew the shades
to block the light,
While the other chose the teller
most likely not to fight.


He strode up to the little man
behind the cold steel bars,
Raised a shotgun, lowered his voice,
and sneered, "Reach fer the stars."


The scum then shoved a little boy
who waited at Dick's cage;
And when the lad hit the floor
unleashed Dick's silent rage.


The derringer caliber shot rang out.
Dick knew he'd hit his mark,
For the bandit staggered backward
and clutched his bleeding heart.


A shotgun blast roared through the bank
and shattered fragile ears,
And Dick was living his untold dreams
of over thirty years.


Then within the shaded room
from near the door a spark was seen.
His slicker back, his rifle cracked --
ending Dick's rage...and dream.

Strange tales are told by some today
who rush to earn a dollar
Of a phantom, in a business suit,
who rides through Dead Man's Holler.


And sometimes, under mist and fog
-- appearing as in dreams --
The little man halts, dismounts,
and drinks from clear blue streams.


But an eerie morning mist sometimes
casts shadows on the plains,
And tricks the mind -- like rainbows
after summer rains;


And caged imaginations bloom
under twilight skies;
For we, who all don business suits,
know: cowboy dreams are lies.

Cowboy Dreams By Carol Tallman Jones

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