close up of Wyatt Earp's collar
[ This image is in the puiblic domain. ]

For my Grandfather

Graying skin retouched,

colored over, like the wedding photos,


Like the Westerns he watched

every day of the week.

Recolored dusty horizons,

heavy golden powder

on his cheeks.

Dressed in that same button down

I’d seen on him a thousand times over—

something Wyatt Earp might wear

on his day off.

Should’ve buried him in his recliner,

the way his hands crossed over

his chest so peacefully,

and his eyes looked like he’d just

nodded off

in the middle of a late-night special.

His gun case remains locked up

at home, unable to assist

in the afterlife.

He went so simply, in his sleep.

Didn’t even flinch when

the Lord called him home.

It was me who wasn’t ready

when the casket began to close

and they buried his Technicolor face.