Who’s that rider crossing the plain
his horse kicking up a cloud of dust?
He seeks to knock on fortune’s door -
this rider will do what he must.
There is a lonely cabin on the plain
where he thinks his lady waits
She’s called Louisa May
and is known to tempt the fates.
Knock, knock he goes, “Open up
or I’ll shoot out the lock.”
The rider breaks in and stomps around
but finds only a turquoise rock.
What happened to his lady fair?
He searches for the slightest trace
and listens for her beckoning voice
but there’s no sign of her pretty face.
The rider looks in the stable
and finds a horse munching hay
It’s saddled and ready to ride
but there is no mistress May.
The horse must have bolted to the barn
as horses like to do. So the rider
mounts the horse and, on a whim,
lets the pawing, snorting steed
run where it suits him.
The horse stops in a rocky gulch
where a lady lies shovel in hand.
She lays silent and dying
waiting for her man.
“Oh, my precious Louisa May!
Why are you here alone?
We should have worked together
finding turquoise stone by stone!”
He brings her to a cooling stream
with barely moments to spare.
She struggles and recovers
under the rider’s loving care.
At last she says:
“Turquoise and copper lie together
much like you and me.
When we mine these riches
together we shall be.”
“Look for bright green stone
in the cliff by the snaggly pine.
It will process to the very best copper
and there we will build our mine.”
From this small beginning
they build a regal mansion
and furnish it with furniture and art
and china of all the latest fashion.
One day there’s a knock on the door
and they admit an elegant stranger
with silk suit and gold watch chain,
cane, and ten-gallon hat.
“I’m here to save y’all
from a real and present danger.”
“The railroad’s coming through
and they’re fixin’ to take your house.
It’s for their ruthless boss
known as Big Tony the Louse.”
“Let me buy your house and mine
right now for gold or cash.
I’ll deal with the railroad folks
and you’ll be gone in a flash.”
This story lives on as legend
about this lucky and loving pair
living here and there and everywhere -
seems they vanished into thin air.
But I saw the rider and Louisa May
just the other day
snuggling under the snaggly pine.
I swear I could hear them
making plans for a great new mine.
(c) 2020 Larry Kilham