Crazy White Man Parked At The End Of A Dirt Road by Billy Howell-Sinnard

Crazy White Man Parked At The End Of A Dirt Road

His wife’s drunk,
passed out in the car.
Her sister kicks around on the ground,
panties dangling
from her shoeless foot.

She yells in English and Arapahoe
for her brother-in-law
to come back.
He pulls up his pants,
stumbles on a rock
and heads for the mountains,
focuses on a ridge of red sandstone
behind a spine of boulders.

A lone pine
at the pinnacle
shoulders a pale
skin of sky
like the last warrior
in the first rays of light.

The beauty of Wyoming:
few people, few trees;
it’s the terror, too.
Tufts of sagebrush
cling to parched ground.
Dust flowers
blossom under his boots
then vanish.

He forgot his beer.
Wyoming doesn’t care about
beer or water,
or cars abandoned
or carcasses rotting
in the middle of nowhere.

He doesn’t care about Wyoming
or his wife sleeping-it-off
or his sister-in-law
yelling in the distance.

He heads for a mountain
he may never reach.
A fallen eagle feather
quivers in a sagebrush,
a fluttering flag of something lost.

by Billy Howell-Sinnard, first published in The Centrifugal Eye’s 5th Anniversary Anthology.

Editor’s Note: This poem’s narrative demands several readings before the ending stanza fully settles in the mind. Desolation has many layers.


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