Take vengeance back from the Lord


The twisted shadow of the wraith still follows me
assaulting my senses, panicking my heart
fight or flight, the instinctive sweat beads on my brow
like a twig under pressure, my patience is bending
a coiled venomous viper, threatened about to spring
my internal monologue a berating avalanche of filth

the clinking of my spurs turns heads and clears a path
a six shooter is cocked in hand, another holstered at my hip
wrapped for a better grip, the hilt of a blade juts out from my boot
Tornado, saddled up, totting my bedroll and gear walks behind
no badge needed to do my duty of simple vengeance
the scar of my mission visible through my eyes’ windows

on the road, hunting down the men who raped and killed my wife and kids
ten years, seventeen states and a trip over the Rio Grande
thirteen men, plus their blood, wiped clean from history’s slate
now only two remain, brothers, and I have finally uncovered them
they left me for dead, my life, my honor and my heart ripped down like a cobweb
now they will pay, in this dusty Oklahoma outpost town,
they have settled down, owning and operating a guns and ammunition trade shop

I am sure they have heard by now of my coming
like John on Patmos, a vision of terrible destruction now arrives
my hair turned long and white as wool and my eyes a blaze of fire
once a pastor with crisp black hair, like my habit
now, Satan’s minions take a knee and avert their eyes
behold death knocks, the door to your past sins found
the black I wear now is a mark on what is left a shriveled soul

heavy boots resonate on the store’s porch as I ascend
recognition pales the faces of the owners, pupils widening
one brother freezes, the other scrambles for hardware
thunder and smoke, a gut-shot administered purposefully
let them die slowly, knowing death’s creeping, painful caresses
the second brother moves finally, but my aim is true again
the Pine floor stained in growing crimson pools
coughing up life, gripping their abdominal holes, whimpering
“know this: from here I am going to your homes.”
I take the knife from my boot and make one clean slice
it looks as though he has peed, but my hand is glossy red

my shoulder is pushed back with a pang of familiarity
the pepper black smoke seasons the air in the shop
with the dexterity of a man half my age, in one move I’ve disarmed him
he receives the same treatment his brother earned
tying one ankle from each man together, Tornado will do the rest
a red stripe is painted through the town’s main street
their wives and children screamed and were quickly silenced
the chimera of torturous death fed one last time by my hand
I can go home to die to await my audience with St. Peter


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