Depression For Gold - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
He rode a nervous Palomino through the gate,
tail bound, a braid, a silly flaxen coat of arms,
the sun was setting and he knew it would be late
but there was no one in the desert with his charms.
A brief command, the sound of Boston in the air
was there a double meaning, certainty all lost?
A final twinkle of the fireball, a dare
will you go on my friend, and what will be the cost?
His body reeked of steel-cut stamina and strength
a string of pemmican forever would sustain.
In search of gold he stretched his body to great lengths;
so many others had been found alive, insane.
It was his mind that could not tolerate the heat,
reflecting devil's fry from rattler's glowing stones
no Canyon cowboy of the south would take defeat
until all marrow had been used up in his bones.
He saw the gold now, tons of glitter, piles of coins,
the horse had stopped to let him slide onto the ground.
And then his soul emerged and left his aching loins,
ten moons had passed until his skeleton was found.
His horse remembered, with some fondness, Canyon Joe
a Pima squaw had commandeered his leather reins,
he was a fighter and true treasure seeking pro
but suffered turbulence inside his aging veins.
Yes, he was Jekyl in the morning, and the ride
would be a pleasant and refreshing, lonely trot,
and with the speed of light he would be Mister Hyde
perhaps the cells inside the skull were burning hot?
No it was all a matter of bad chemistry
two potent substances would fight for mind control
and when the dopamine set all his devils free
no one could rescue then his doomed and troubled soul.
It was Doc Holliday who'd given him the pills,
they hadn't worked for his consumption's fetal breath,
and as a DDS he knew depression kills
and that this medicine would surely hasten death.
They searched for Joe in all the valleys until Fall.
Until the day that they rode into the town of Dodge.
Six final slugs from Doc, he really had a ball.
They buried both behind the Bison Hunter's Lodge.
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