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The Ridge

as
they
say,
"quarter mile
Path
By
way
the
crow
flies,"
from
the
heavy dark
stained
front doors
Of
mcquitty’s General Store.

THE RIDGE

the ridge,
I
watched
the
sun
set
behind
Silhouettes
Of
a
country
church,
and
the
house
of
mexican
immigrant
Louis Gomez,
Whose
Bent
Broken back
Carried
The
coarse
scars
of
a
whip,
brutally
inflicted
while
a
young
boy
by
comrads
of dorotea arango.

beyond
the ridge,
I knew
was
a
mixed
topography
of
plain,
mountains,
canyons
and
the
great
pacific
ocean

a
topography
once
as
wild
and
natural
as
primitive
man.

at
times
dust
would
rise
behind
the ridge
gravel dust
stirred
by
the
wheels
of
a
farmers
old
dented,
rusted,
clangy,
truck
moving slowly
toward
a
temporary
antiquated
co-ordinate
of
culture

a
culture
of
simplicity,
humility,
and
organic aroma

and quiet celebrations

except
when
a
revival
tent
was
erected

THEN

The
Early
Evening
Air
emotionally
moved
with
gospel
Hymns
And
the
Out
Of
Tune
wound
wires
Of
An
Old
Upright
Piano-
Beaten
By
hammers
Of
erratic
synchronicity

all
too
be
followed
by
a
fire
and
brimstone
sermon
voiced
by
a
wild
eyed
over-stuffed
traveling
evangelist
that
made
The
image of
crazy
Kansas, john brown
look
passive!

SOME

would fall
to
their
knees
and
repent
their
mortal
sins

While
Others

sneered
and
laughed
and
fondled
the
privates
Of
the
opposite
sex;
in
outlying
shadows,
between
sips
of
homemade
whiskey

from
all
outward
appearances
things
ended
the
same
for
the
lot,
at
the
last
draw
of
breath

a
six
foot
deep
hole
with
markers-
from
frugal
too
grandiose
in
the Englewood cemetery

beyond,

THE RIDGE