The Gunslinger died this morning
A driedup worm on El Paso concrete
Happened in a child’s bed.
There was a pillow & a blanket.
There was a scar around the neck
Not the scar of a failed hanging
But shirtcollar too small.
The Gunslinger was more Cagney
Hammered cowboyboots heelshaved and leaky.
The spurs rusted.
And no wife outside wept and no whores
And the cardplayers
Never missed a hand.
The Gunslinger said twenty-eight men he shot & killed
In Reno just to see them dance.
The Gunslinger possessed
She refused to believe his Irish redhair
Nobody in the hotel knew his name
The dead Gunslinger.
To the grave the Gunslinger was
In nothing but purple Yfronts.
Anthony James Bergman