Peter Chapman Poetry

Out West

I come up over the rise and saw the towers, which I couldn't figure.
Town rose in the distance, at the edge of the prairie, gold's own tooth.
I yipped Gert and we went down for it.

The guy on the bike was out and he saw the towers, and thought west.
Riding smooth, dusky day, toward a people somewhere.

The towers had been there a long time, he'd known them above a shack
near a recycling station since he'd been riding the road, 20 years.

Maybe now they summoned his vista.

The cowboy had men waiting in the town, usual habits: whiskered,
oily pants, the stone look for everybody. The range of couth, you might say.

He biked on, recalling the big peacock he'd chased once. Had him
running pretty good, tail plumed like a card trick. Found and not happy.

They started here, writing the stories down. Some got the dimes
on their eyes for meanness. Some died poor and some
never did die, or lie. Like Willa Cather, sweeping the saloon.

Biking in the sun spun him to weird ambers.