The Graveyard on Indigo Flats

His mother cried the day he died

Yet no other, not even his brother

Died really violent, just like his pa

But better dead than face the law

Six-foot box and a six-foot hole

Thrift store suit for his wretched soul

Whiskey glass and money gone

Yet not a cent to carry on

Losing hands that kept repeating

So, another man, he said was cheating

Much too young with a reckless gun

This damn fool called a main street duel

Sun in the sky, noon chimed the clock

Folks held their breath, no one did talk

He stood in the west, facing the east

Unshaved and dirty, a miserable beast

His hat pulled low and dusty trail slicker

Drew his gun fast, but the other drew quicker

A shot rang out and he fell to the ground

Eyes rolled back, with a whimpering sound

His body was crumpled in a twisted position

But quickly resolved by the local mortician

The coffin was closed, as the heat grew intense

His gun and his horse, the funeral expense

As the wagon passed, men held their hats

With the graveyard awaiting on Indigo Flats

Though the service prepared, not a one came

So, the Padre began, but he left him unnamed

Here now he lies, this boy who just died

Have pity oh Lord, then he did testify

Ashes go to ashes, dust then to dust

This sinner, oh Lord, we place into your trust

Have mercy on him, despite his transgressions

Open your gates, and bring him to heaven

A wave of the cross, and a prayer for his soul

Then strong stoic men dumped the box in the hole

They shoveled and filled, yet made not a sound

Marked the grave with a post, headed to town

The stain in the dirt, now a bloody dark spot

Boy’s face forgotten, but not the place he was shot

The gravediggers know, he’s just one of the many

Men will draw guns for a drink or a penny

Out on Indigo Flats, the population still none

Just ghosts of those men, who died by the gun

Additional Reading

R.J. Schwartz is an American Poet and Author.

His complete works on The Creative Exiles Website can be found here

The Gypsy Thread is a huge collection of his original work

Ralph also writes on HubPages


Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

3 thoughts on “The Graveyard on Indigo Flats

  • March 18, 2023 at 10:10 AM

    I always marvel at the way your poems flow so nicely with great phrasing and emotion. You are a master of words. I am a great fan of ‘Gunsmoke’ and know that so many men died by the gun – even in real life. Great work as always, Ralph.

    • March 22, 2023 at 12:56 PM

      You are too kind. Believe it or not, but this one is inspired by Kurt

  • March 20, 2023 at 9:27 AM

    Enjoy western poetry and your contribution is worthy of a few reads. Great story well presented and in perfect poetic form. Jamie


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