Thursday, September 07, 2006

"The Stranger" by Keith Harvey

The Stranger

They are listed, checked and assigned their place,
one after another through forty years of collecting.
Each one special but the same;
each one a murderer, an executioner, a sadist;
each one a surrogate mother,
who provided milk,
a diversion really from the real quest,
the search for the lost one, the stranger,
who like Talos is molded from red clay
and sandy loam of black woods,
a creature-half man and half bull-
cooked in a canvas tent in a weedy patch
where oil rigs run ragged through the night,
a creature birthed in sweat and blood,
blue bruises and broken noses,
cut from the womb with a broken beer bottle,
who, once found, sits on his Morgan horse
and smokes hand rolled cigarettes
and hums sour tunes about calves and steers.

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