Prairie Poetry   
  The Bloody Center

In the middle of the nation,
astride the route buffalo roamed
between Canada and Spanish territories,
Bleeding Kansas from Lawrence to Dodge -
Quantrill, John Brown and Earp -
the center of American mythos.

Trails that left scars on the grasslands;
took us to Oregon, Utah,  and Santa Fe,
to points in every direction south and west
for gold, freedom without neighbors
crowding against the back section,
to escape dust and starvation;
brought news, mail, rawboned cattle
and the men who drove them north.

Trails that led hard men to murder
that captured our attention in books
and film, and someday song and dance –
"In Cold Blood:  The Musical."

  Gary Blankenship
  Copyright © 2007 Gary Blankenship
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