What I’d Give To Be

(the death of Frank Searcy)

What I’d give to feel the sun’s warmth again 

Leaving the dark, cold mines.

Now all I know is cold.

 

My skin icy, yet without ability to shiver

I shivered when Kuhl pulled the gun out,

Taking a gander at his crazed face, 

eyes bloodshot and blotto

 

Blood and money- the perfect elixir of betrayal

 

Popping one, heated bullet out of the cannister,

ripping into my skull, he took my life

like he took the envelopes filled with scratch

 

Betraying me, left me to bleed out

While he stole the money, our money

 

The stagecoach seats still ghosted by my blood

 

What I’d give to smell the moist air of the mines again,

lungs filling with black dust from chunks of cold coal

I’d never hold again 

 

My hands, now black from decay, no longer black from coal dust

 

Kuhl was messy, 

leaving behind a bloody palm print on a single envelope

he forgot to steal.

What robber forgets an envelope full of money?

 

See, Kuhl got caught

thrashing as they took him away

Yelling out raspily that he was innocent

 

The simp didn’t hide his evidence well

Had I been in his position, I would’ve burned everything

Burned his clothes and threw the .45 roscoe into the river

 

He didn’t rot in that sorry ass Jarbridge pokey

the way I rotted on that eerily chilled December day back in 1916

He was let off after a few years, like most criminals are

 

Sometimes I’ll sit in the stagecoach, thinking

Wishing I had a drag

 

Because I’m not the one remembered

Nah, I was only a coal shoveling swindler

Whose accomplice turned on him

 

Oh, what I’d give to have been on his end of the gun