Quest For Gold

By Carolyn Devonshire

painted desert lay before them
hills with rings of gold and amber clay
few plants, scarce water
just a coyote or roadrunner

on horseback they rode
dreaming of hidden gold
saddlebags filled with mining tools
but not one nugget of treasure

badlands had not been kind to them
but determination still burned
another excavation, another disappointment
“fool’s gold” took on new meaning

blistering day came to a close
time to set up camp
but the striated hills had eyes
Dakota Tribe waited for dusk

arrows flew fiercely
bullets pierced the warm night air
war chants accompanied thundering hooves
intruders not welcome in their land

two weary cowboys
lay dead by morning
adventurous spirits slain
now just statistics in the quest for gold

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