Too Strange to Predict

They claimed that there in the woods,
among dogs of doubtful parentage,
in a club of scrub oaks,
by a pitched weather-beaten tent,
grated with buckshot,
laid the snarled remains
of his body

All the while,
under a culvert,
by the Red River,
he watched as the searchlights
fanned through the thicket,
twixt the branches and the stems,
sliding shadows across his face,
like old, familiar
prison bars

How could they have known
he had taken residence in a condemned theater
with the mongrels and the psychopaths,
learned to numb despondent thoughts,
practiced his aim,
and forged a shooting iron
from old railroad spikes

How could they have known
that he was prepared to fight back,
had been through all of it before,
knew the back roads, the bridges, the fields,
and absolutely refused to die by anyone's hand
but his own.