Michael G. Casey
Ignoring pleas not to follow
in his father’s steps, he saddled up,
shook out and snapped the reins,
and took his leave abruptly,
spurring the animal’s flanks.
He watched the cut-stone house
recede in dust-filled air until,
after a turn in the lane,
it disappeared from view,
not to be seen again; the thought
gave pause and pain; but the world
waited, and he resolved to take it on.
On a mountain pass above the timber
line, he met an older man riding
towards him; they nodded and passed
by wordlessly. Days later the older man
reached the plains and the dusty town
where locals eyed him up and down,
studied his strange demeanour
through the grime of wasted journeys,
and read the creases in his pilgrim face,
to see if, by fate, he had been sent.
He went further west, a little out of town
to get lodgings in a cut-stone house
that had a room for rent.
© 2019 Michael G. Casey