T.C. Carter


We buried Wyatt Earp today
Up on a grassy knoll
Here in Colma, California
Where he had gotten old

His years numbered eighty-one
His friends much more than that
Many came to see him off
Some cried just where they sat

Those grey and stooped old men
Who knew him long ago
When the west was truly wild
A place where legends grow

They huddled in long overcoats
To turn the wind away
And had their hats pulled down tight
On that cold January day

I could see it in their distant gaze
As they thought back to the past
To the times, now just a memory
Times that could not last

I knew they were reliving
Some event that they held dear
Something from their younger days
Replaying crystal clear

Perhaps they thought of Wyatt
And his even disposition
Or the things he said he'd like to do
That never saw fruition

Thirty seconds at the O.K.
Was all the time it took
To make his reputation
And put him in the history books

Some had seen that gunfight
That's still talked about today
Some knew him from Dodge City
And up Nome, Alaska way

But just like men everywhere
There was much they never shared
They depended on their actions
To show how much they cared

The shadows of the past
Swept over wrinkled brows
And the things they had meant to say
Would have to be said now

I could see their lips moving
As they said their last good-byes
And said the things 'til now unsaid
As tears fell from their eyes


They say the train's a'coming soon
They're laying rails acros't the land
Coming like a cloud of locust
Chewing up the rock and sand

Cuttin' through the mountains
Dropping down the trees
Railroad tracks a'coming
Anywhere they dang well please

They cut acros't the Chisholm Trail
Without a thought or care
Who ever would have thunk it
Why, it's gall beyond compare

Don't they know about us cowpokes
That we're kings of open range
The potentates of hill and dale
Not wanting railroad change

Oh, sure, they've seen us ridin' herd
We've seen 'em gawk and stare
Then turn back to their section maps
And say, we'll run some rail right there

Wherever there's a dollar
Or a nickel to be made
That's where they'll send the black beast
That's where their hand is played

All around the campfires
Of the cowpokes on the plain
They heap derision on the steel tracks
And lament the coming of the train

I'd like to shoot the belching beast
A forty-four right through it's heart
Run it off a trestle high
And watch it crash and come apart

But that' just idle thoughts and such
There's no way to stop or slow
The great wild west intruder
Who wants to wander to and fro

And when they fill the land up
With sod busters and woolly sheep
Followers of the shiny rails
Claiming range land they can keep

Cowpokes will be the fellers
With nothing left to do but think
And reminisce and wonder
How their world changed in a blink

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The views and opinions expressed throughout belong to the individual artists and may or may not coincide with those of the other artists (or editors) represented within the magazine. Hobo Camp Review supports a free-for-all atmosphere of artistic expression, so enjoy the poetry, fiction, opinions, and artwork within, read with an open mind, and comment wisely. Thanks for stopping by the Camp!