Spaghetti Western Ballad

by Michael Brockley

Your friend, who often critiques the film How the West Was Won with its reluctant harmonica-playing hero and its blue-eyed killer, posted a video of the Seekers singing “I’ll Never Find Another You” on Facebook. You don’t remember the movie anymore, having confused its plot with a collage from the Clint Eastwood catalog. But you weep every time balladeers launch into the chords to the lyrics you lived with for six months in 2012. When yet another woman asked you not to write her into your poems. When your white German shepherd could no longer feel your hands brushing against the grain of her coat. Before you smoothed her hair from crown to tail. It was the year you read Behind the Beautiful Forever and This Is How You Lose Her.. Near Thanksgiving you sang Springsteen to the woman, rhyming “I’m on fire” and “born to run.” And Christmas carols from the last week of November, until she escaped into a Key West short story sometime between New Year’s and Epiphany. The day you surrendered your German shepherd to the Rainbow Bridge you don’t believe in your debt of loneliness came due to the blue-eyed bounty hunter with his taunts about belts with suspenders. You’ve watched Unforgiven like an addiction. ever since. As if seeking the answer to a question no one will ever ask you. As always, unprepared to travel through another storm without a guide.

Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana. His poems have appeared in Fatal Flaw, Woolgathering Review, and Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the LIfe and Work of Bob Dylan. Poems are forthcoming in Flying Island, Last Stanza Poetry Journal, and The Pine Cone ReviewLiz Baron is an artist and restaurateur who lives in Texas by way of New York City. She and her husband, Jim, founded, own and operate four Mexican-Southwestern restaurants. She got her Bachelor of Fine Art from Pratt Institute but stopped painting when restaurant work and family life consumed most of her time. She is grateful to the online art classes of Sketchbook Skool that helped her regain the joy of a regular art practice.