Grey Lands

Preachers on horseback
ride through frontier towns,
dispensing sermons in
rigidly predictable sequences:
Repentance. Orderliness.
Rules. Polarization. Hell.
Words fall on deserted streets;
dogs crawl under houses to sleep,
and men drinking in saloons
lower their voices to keep
unwelcome attention at bay.
They tell their own stories
of fortune favouring the brave,
of loyalty to companions,
of desperation encountered,
and of the vast, unexplored
grey lands that lie between
the black hats and the white.
God, they conclude, is not
inclined to partiality.

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