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Robert Sessions Smilie, Jr

(Ellijay, Georgia)

Washita


Bugles blare from morning's fog.
They pay The Garrey Owen.
In the snows of the cold moons they play.
Play for the son of the Morning Star.

Ghostly riders come as death.
Come from night's darkness.
Pale riders upon pale horses.
Horsemen of the apocalypse.

On a cold wind rises the cries of Washita.
The cries of the Cheyenne.
Of women and children.
The dead among the red snows.

Like tortured dreamers the nightmare always the same.
The pale riders coming without end, without mercy.
Mercurial figures in an American tale.
An American holocaust.

Like the buffalo the Cheyenne fade into memory.
Now only shadows of the things that were.
The history of things to come.
In the snows of the cold moons at a place called Washita.

Submitted: Thursday, January 02, 2003

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