The scene opens around a fire,
shadows of huddled men dancing
to white coals stirred for another chunk
of tamarack, bell mare grazing
distant darkness by granite starlight,
sweet and damp in her nostrils,
to the snowmelt’s murmur
leaking down into another world.

You are there among them now,
young and listening in thin night air,
following a herd of horses from
Cuyama up the Kern, over Farewell
to the miners in Mineral King
by yourself at seventeen – Onus Brown.

If lucky, you may be a story only,
a far-fetched tale of discarded truth –
short chapters of wild accomplishment
that will not matter in the future,
but for the embellished retelling.

The camera zooms into eyes a glint
beneath your brim, cigarette inhaled,
jug tipped, passed and burning still –
nothing worse among these men,
than to have nothing left to tell.

Beginning of a Screen Play
© Dry Crik Press 2012

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