On the range, crystal-filled nights shattered
by an old cowboy tune sung by robber barons,
as they stole our bodies, livelihoods, and dreams.
The raiders hit just before dawn, weary-boned sleepers
slow to realize the intended harm, sparked
by greed, overlaid on indifference.
Depleted, but not broken, come daylight, heels pinioned
to a horse, cattle-hungry, but time to rescue
a damsel tied to the railway tracks, yet again.
Dressed in red, white, and blue, she straddled the train tracks,
screamed as the locomotive approached,
but we spoke loudly and released the ties.
Skinny dipping, so enjoyable, even now,
when less skinny.
A very Canadian activity, at least,
when the months are warm.
Occasional frozen-haired plummets
in the icicle season.
Skinny dipped is my current status,
Nerves exposed and reddish-ragged,
raw to the bone.
A struggling return to shore, exhausted
after a long race.