Brian Laidlaw

Poet | Songwriter | Educator

Waltz From Rawlins

 

Before we became so adult

We were happily roaming

Followed the Andreas fault

East to Wyoming

 

The ghost towns were calling

We pulled off in Rawlings

With beaches of rust

And tarantulas crawling

 

We learned about trust

From timberframes falling

Down into the dust

Of the ghost town of Rawlings

 

But the homestead will stand fast

While many a sandblast

Will polish your face

To a red, ruddy shine

 

In Rawlings, my darling

Your crosscountry kindness

Did just the same for mine

 

We followed the frontage road east

Deeper into the valley

Where an ancient mechanical beast

Was beached in an alley

 

            Some homesteader’s treasure

            Both precious and hostile

            Reared in the gesture

            Of a plaintive apostle

 

            The dinosaur thresher

            Has turned to a fossil

            A century’s pressure

            Makes the fiercest gears docile

 

But the homestead will stand fast

While many a sandblast

Will polish your face

To a red, ruddy shine

 

 

 

In Rawlings my darling

Your crosscountry kindness

Did just the same for mine.

 

We paused for a moment and kissed

By the railway platform

The horizon a gathering fist

Of a glorious dust-storm

 

By the rail for supplies

And goods from the salt mine

That split the west lengthwise

Like a manifest fault-line

 

            Dry tufts of crabgrass

            And tumbleweed beasts           

            Can’t suffer the sandblasts

            Of the continent’s crease

 

So it’s three days straight

With the sun setting straight

At our backs, heading straight

For the east, for the east

 

It’s three days straight

With the sun setting straight

At our backs in the rearview

A red, ruddy shine

 

In Rawlings my darling

Your crosscountry kindness

Did just the same for mine.