Issue > Poetry
Kenneth Sherman

Kenneth Sherman

Kenneth Sherman is the author of ten books of poetry, including the highly acclaimed Black River. A new collection, Jogging with the Great Ray Charles, is forthcoming. He lives in Toronto, where he conducts writing workshops.

Western


I went up to take a nap.
Once I closed my eyes
horses were running out of Texas,
big-eyed schizoid gallopers
and their riders: wild, unshaven men,
the broad brims of their hats blown back.
They were riding through a storm
and I was riding with them. I tell you
I hardly ever dream, I seldom travel, and there I was
past Devil's Elbow and Dry Gulch, following a lead.
What were we chasing — Gold? A thief?
I asked but no one heard my voice above the thunder.
I thought the galloping would never end, but
then, in a flash, I was back on my avenue,
its measured lampposts and tight curbs.
Someone was digging. I could hear
the solitary scrape of a shovel
but when I asked whose funeral,
no one would answer. They motioned me
to take off my hat and we sang a hymn.
I can't recall the words though I do remember
the gaping hole flooded with late-day light
and how I turned suddenly to see my horse stomping,
impatient to ride.

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