"Putting Horseshoes On The Milk Cows In Grass Range, Montana"

Jun 8, 2015

I hit the town
the way some stranger
steps off a bus...collar up,
head down, feet first.
I said what I could
under my breath,
saw a star hang it up
above the street,
pushed my way past the thought of coffee
(three way clapboard post office,
bus stop, and cafe)
and straight into Lib's Bar.

Four shots later
(my nerves on ice—
head back, collar down,
sacked on my feet)
this cowpoke,
an 8th grader,
lip of snoose,
silver dollar chuckle,
called his shot on cue,
three-banked the eight,

polished me off.


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John Holbrook lives in Missoula, Montana.    His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including: Antaeus, the Carolina Quarterly, Comstock Review, Cutbank, the Florida Review, Hubbub, Mississippi Review, Nebraska Review, Poetry Northwest, South Carolina Review, and the Southern Poetry Review. "Putting Horseshoes On The Milk Cows In Grass Range, Montana" was published in his 2010 collection A Clear Blue Sky in Royal Oak.