Saloons and Spurs

Saloons and Spurs

You can’t imagine the dead lined up on wood rail chairs
under the overhang of the saloon roof, leaning back
on the leftmost porch wall with their boots tilted up.

You might recall a scene from old westerns, wagon ruts
in the muck, snorts of hung-head horses tied
saddled to dirty rails. Women on the right

wear sunbonnets. They saw gold light early on.
Now they too think a lean back against
a stout wall makes eternity more bearable.

Maybe a marshal rides in with a silver star.
Spurs jingle as she tips her hat, spits
out trail dust, and eyeballs the assembly

of those who choose this pretense, this porch
where only those of their kind end up,
where law ignores hateful segregation

that happened not too long ago.
Did you see all white people?

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