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The Killing of Jack Little

The Killing of Jack Little

Lawman: Silver City, Alberta


Click cover for illustrated version


It was 1:00 in the afternoon
when all of this happens
not noon, not sundown-
just to prove history
and most other popular
accounts wrong


Wilkes in the hotel
waits for footsteps to disappear-
then eases himself into the feel of the room
leaving his pistol in the small of his back
where nobody would look for it there

Wilkes checks the bed:
water basin

Checks the view from a laced curtain

Jack listening to the noise outsides of his door
Wet clay of stagecoach wheels in the mud
Jack with a cup of warm coffee
and cleaning his gun between gulps

He looks at the hole in the roof
as a hornet buzzes around the spit-pot
Had a bat fly in here during the night
but was gone by sun up


Door opens and news pours from the street
Somebody mentions Wilkes
and in the same breath the stagecoach
Jacks stops cleaning his gun and lets the hammer
fall into an empty chamber

Lewis feels for his gun
Left-handed but hung his pistol
from the right hip
Some say he had a name for it
Nobody knowing if it was male or female


Checks his watch against the sun
time    kept
in scars and smoke


Thinks about the times...
the times before now
the times after now
time carried in a broken bottle
of regret


His shoulder hurts when he draws
from the time his Smith and Wesson
exploded in his hand
Shrapnel like splintered tin cans
dug deep under his skin

In the damp weather it throbs...


Wilkes was famous
                   for never killing a man on a rainy day



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