Hear the Horses Scream
by Ron Wallace

Sharps carbines are singing
_____death songs
and the screams of a thousand horses
echo in the canyons
where Mackenzie crushed the Nations.

Poor Buffalo
_____Lone Wolf
__________and Iron Shirt’s people
lay beneath his boot heels,
but their blood
would never be enough.

He needed to end the history.

sunrise to sundown
_____for one whole day
his cavalrymen poured death
into the flesh
pinned within the walls of Palo Duro.

Every stallion
_____every mare and foal
fell beneath the fire.

And there
among the spent brass cartridges
and cactus barbs
the general won a war
_____and lost a world.

His mind scattered
_____all across West Texas
with the bloody, wind-blown sand.

And his army bent him back
to the streets of New York City
of man-made stone and steel,
many miles from the Comancheria
and that canyon
_____east of Amarillo,
back to the place from where he came.

But, even home could not fix his heart.

For Mackenzie,
the echoes of the rifle shots
never would stop ringing
_____ringing in his ears,
_________right behind his eyes.
The only thing
he would ever hear again
was how the horses screamed.

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