Unexpected Western

Image of Long Story Short Award - Fall 2020
Image of Poetry
The city bus rolls down the tumbling rocks
And releases its passengers to the open air.
The sun shrinks the wide landscape
As I step off into the windy tumbleweed hills.
Grey dust settles on cement houses
And clings to blank faces and plain clothes.
Grey clings to the inner sides of the soul.
Wrinkled faces peer out of crusty doorways,
Waiting for something, anything to happen.
Wide-brimmed hats cover the whites of the eyes,
Staring at the strangers who saunter into town.
I tip my hat towards them to ease the apprehension.
Fear trembles in the empty streets hollowed by
My footsteps walking pale dusty roads,
that stretch forward to unknown corners.
Children are everywhere and nowhere,
Their shrill voices haunt the low huts and storefronts.
They are waiting patiently for a handout or a small coin
Hungry for food, change, a new hope.
The town holds its breath in a sudden stillness,
Waiting for color, waiting for me.