Ralph Tanner–Jeff Burt

Ralph Tanner


Your country, Nevada, bees dead, blossoms fertile,

women gone, and the well more sparse tears than weeping.


Fingerprints dot the woodwork of doorways

as you pass but no one has been there for years.


Words gather, protests thunder,

but drops evaporate before they hit the ground.


King Drought curls earth into saucers

preparing plates to capture what falls.  Nothing falls.


A starving mustang steals the oats

of your livered pinto, you set out your last bales of hay.


You cling like burrs to shoestrings.  You saddle,

the high plains sky no longer full of outlaws.


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