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Gold Rush Brides

by Ariane Scott

West they pan with eyes like slits
to shield the dust, to frame the light,
while others scout for bullion gold rush brides
are seeking bone, some semblance
of rigidity in a world where truth falls
soft and words fall mush on skin
so smooth and resolute with supple
movement, will to bend

It's the agile way they move their feet,
their style of catching sun yet knowing
when to ditch the glow, when all it brings
is ache and burn, see how they mount
their horses in the noon before the fade
sets in to taint their skin, paint them old,
force a sleep inside on brilliant nights
instead of 'neath the moon in dirt
so clean it gleams like hope imbued

Until one night they stand for hours
flagging steeds while wind takes speed,
nature's counter to the damning of the ride
Those gold rush brides, they hear that wind,
they let that howling in, they always come alive
just 'fore the numb begins to win

So they're mounting bloody backs, see them
heaving empty sacks, they're drawing maps
within their chests, galloping again due west
just as they've always done before
as if they're off to fight a war--

Damned gold rush brides,
always wanting more.


Posted on 09/04/2008
Copyright © 2021 Ariane Scott

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Meghan Helmich on 09/04/08 at 02:06 PM

what an interesting combination of images. this really captures the loneliness of the old west. i love it, ariane.

Posted by Laura Doom on 09/07/08 at 01:51 PM

Generic/specific, detached/subjective - timeless and placeless, but hooked and synched.
And the evolutionary mapping - it's all encompassed here within the dreadful dawning.
[placeholder for sundry drivel]
Death-defying density of virtual pigment.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 09/29/16 at 12:22 AM

Loved all of this, but especially "they're drawing maps within their chests,". Also really liked "where truth falls soft and words fall mush on skin." Thanks for this and congrats on POTD!

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