in praise of cowboys & angels (elegy for George Michael)

I can see him as a cowboy
I imagine the plains he rides
as he lopes around the ranch
with sexy, long-legged strides

a light shines from his eyes
unshielded from the sun’s glare
revelling in the summer heat
the Santa Ana wind that loves his hair

in my mind’s eye there’s an image
of this cowboy in his saddle
doin’ what he loves
as he fights a private battle

he tends his sheep & pigs
around the cattle he rides in rings
his muscles throbbing pleasantly
as he composes the songs he sings

so angelic was this cowboy
with love stamped upon his face
that the Lord could not resist
taking him to a better place

gone was this cowboy, this angel
a flawed & human soul
composer of the background music
which made so many people whole

& those who loved the cowboy wept
they pulled their hair, they cried
aghast & unbelieving:
surely their muse had not died?

his music had been a crucial part
of my most formative years
I freely admit the morning after
I awakened covered in tears

but these tears I shed are quiet
aloud I will not weep
I’ll celebrate Jesus & Christmas
& pray for the cowboy’s restful sleep

copyright © KPM 2016

george-michael

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