The gunfighters raised their own pantheon
Of martyrs and saints up to the heavens,
It was the grave alone that could place them
Firmly beyond the reach of challengers
And all their blood-thirsty aspirations.
Their tortured headstones riddled with vein
Pot-marks of bitter grapes from later comers.
Living practitioners were but touchstones,
Their cold professional blood a prized ink
For others to scribe their eager names in.
Those heady days, buried with Marshal Erp;
No more would big hats and righteous anger
Excuse the exchange of lead in the street.
People seem to find it less cute these days,
Now only the cops get away with it.
* * *
Filed under: Verse