Westward of Eastwood

It's one of those epics
that I can't claim as my own
like David slaying Goliath
or gravity, or Gatsby.
Maybe I heard it at coffee break;
read it in the G section of the liquor store;
saw it in a Spaghetti Western
with Guineas painted like Injuns
and a mostly forgettable plot:

A man who wears enough grit on his skin
to make his detractors think twice
reaches into his jeans
tosses a .38 Special round
at the hopeless fool giving him guff
and warns him--
"The next one will come faster."

I thought about writing it into a scene
but decided to err
on the side of integrity.
Instead I'll tell you
like a lame man showing his crutch
before a long walk
off a short pier
as my father used to say.

A writer's nothing more
than a careful recorder of contraband.

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