Strathbungo Cowboys

In this city’s midst
don’t have your eyes surprised
by a sudden stretch
presenting them
of a long low horizon
broken only by a petrol station,
it’s lonely pumps
mimicking the view
you’ve seen in American movies
of a desert, nine-tenths sky,
and a dusty line of two-lane blacktop
strung out sparely in dry heat,
it’s baking stillness cut in a flash
with a cool lizard on a rock.

For here
beneath this sombre blue,
at the corner of Titwood and Vennard,
bask cold sandstone semis
and monoliths of blond tenements:
old stone pedestrians
parted by a Herculean lollipop-man,
and in the gap of them,
the far side of the road
provides a fake Arizona skyway
for you and your pardner to gaze on.
It lets you choose a long minutes wonder
to slowly breathe out on,
and not the tide of endlessly shuttered shops
and bulging buses
moseying out of the city centre at day’s end,
heavy with sleepy workers
too tired to dream.


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