The Ranger


James’s Note: This is one of my older poems. In fact, it is probably the oldest one I will admit to writing. It was born of my love of western heroes and ghost stories. It was also influenced by the couple of Texas rangers in my family line.


Five horses pounding thunder,
throwing dust up in the scrape.
They're riding hard for Mexico
and desperate to escape.

They had shot a Texas ranger
when they busted out of jail
and ever since they'd swear to god
there'd been someone on their trail.

Every night when they made camp
they'd shiver in their skins,
'cause in the distance they could hear
hooves pounding in the wind.

They finally made the Rio Grande.
Mexico looked safe and warm.
Then like wrath of an angry god,
there came a thunder storm.

Their horses spooked and bolted;
they threw them to the ground
and when they looked up they could see
a rider coming down.

Lightning forked behind him
like a fearsome demon's horns
and the wind was screaming murder
as he rode out of the storm.

His horse was throwing moonlight,
white fire filled his eyes,
and a golden star shown on his chest
like it had fallen from the sky.

The pair of pistols in his hands
roared liked beast from hell.
The world was filled with thunder
and five screaming outlaws fell.

No one knows what really happened,
those outlaws were never found,
but there's a place on the Rio Grande
they say is still cursed ground.

But you can bet the scores got settled up
for each and every one
because you can't kill a ranger
with a desperado's gun.

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