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The Bright Girls

The winds of Wyoming
blow strangers about
the plains and mountains
hurry them to every corner
send them to every town

Caught here and there
on the sagebrush
and the motels
they stay a while
and leave with the bright girls

The girls' eyes
were raised here
to the passes and the roads
to the green horizons
their fingers grasped in ours

We are the boys who stay
to become the men
who build the roads
that the strangers wind along
then stop to pluck up the girls

We pushed the girls down
when they were little
tripped them on the yellow busses
stared at them in the churches
and waited for them to grow

We kissed them first
touched their hearts
smelled the perfume
that they borrowed
from their mothers

Their summer blue eyes
were round and honest
and earnest laughing eyes
that followed us
on the fields of play

The white winters came and went
the springs melted and ran
the summers were hung with moons
and we pushed the girls down
gently into the fragrant grass

We tasted them
their eyes grew wider
and began to turn away so
we stole beer to tempt them with
and drove them out to the lavender hills

They dressed themselves
in changing colors
like the aspens and the maple
and the strangers came
and took them away

They came
from golden California
from Vermont's Green Mountains
along the roads we boys built
and turned the girls' heads

And they still come
to tap the rocks
survey the plains
put their fingers in the ground
and pluck up the bright girls

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Jon Horton

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