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My Life Rattle

A Cowboy's Revelation of Self

By Rae SolacePublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 2 min read

I did not know that what I did, I did with witness.

Once, long ago in the desert, I stood before

a silhouette of truth and offered my

threadbare obedience.

Soon, with my grip locked onto the winds

of trembling devils, I fancied myself a righteous tumbleweed,

a secret sheriff, an ordained badge gambler, as if I had earned

the right to break my holey oath.

They who could see the body within the outline,

and hid beneath hat brims their crackling black eyes, I thought of

as models of opposition enough to prove my piety

to the shadowed face I dared not recognize.

But when I pulled the lever, and brought those demons

to hang, it was then as they smiled at my deadliness

that I knew I had a soul, and that it too

was hell-bound.

A death rattle and a life rattle had always meant

the same thing before that day. Their evil fruit-wasted teeth

began to scratch at my noose as my hat fell to rest

in the kicked up dust.

And as I flew, the silhouette’s sun-filled blankness formed

into the very man I knew was truth. So weak still, I ran buckeyed

backwards through my own spittle-made mud until the man crossed

from sight to heart and I settled into the darkness of a quiet hillside cave.

Now, so far beyond the gallows, a constant bellowing of awe

bounces off the walls and a cold regret drips from the stalactites

onto my brow. I lay to rest and dream of the Son sounding a yawp over my

stony rooftop which wakes me and compels me to my feet.

I step out again into the desert and make for the land I fled in fear.

As the horizon births light, scouring shadows from my path,

I make the sign of the cross for the first time in my life.

I look up and pray that when I step into the town square

at high noon and face the man who holds my tattered oath

in his holster, I will look into His great eye as I fall to my knees.

Oh, I pray that my small bit of goodness will

finally break through my breast.

And by God, I pray that with Him as my witness,

I will finally know what I have done, and I will repent.

surreal poetry

About the Creator

Rae Solace

An amateur in all regards except taste. Fiction writer, poet, jewelry-maker, craft-maker, painter.

English Creative Writing BA.

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran3 months ago

    Gosh this made me so emotional! Well done!

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