A Fair Day

I was tapping out a rhythm with my cutlery and my glass

He was sitting on the shady side of the road

I slipped him into a plot where it seemed he belonged

He sat there looking at three hungry dogs searching

I wondered if he was working up to something good or bad

His boots did not look like they’d been walking in the field

I decided he must be waiting on a woman named Gabrielle

He had the gaze of a patient but expectant man

I craned my neck without revealing my serious curiosity

He took off his hat and with one palm smoothed down his dark hair

I started humming to a tune I was strumming in my head

His fingers started twitching like he might be running out of time

I looked up at the waiter who was looking down at me without a smile

and in that flicker of an instant that cowboy vaporized

I tried to finish the story while my fork turned a tasteless meal

He left me there on that sunlit veranda like it was a fair deal

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