Last Load Out Copyright 2010 By Jim Lanier I am tracing the track Winding up the Old Gulch To Douglas

Flat, The Assay Office and away From these hills forever, this Gold Country. I shall sell the buckboard and team To some greenhorn, most likely. I will stand firm on ten dollars for all, A fair price for a dream. A few words of my tale Will surely close the sale. That last sack is not included, It will join those on account In the bank which now holds My fortune in this life. I take the long way to Douglas Flat, Through Murphys, where They mine the miners, fleece the flock And cheat the dreamers. I will observe, but not participate, A talent which now sets me free. I sat a while and looked At the old diggings Before snapping reins And turning my back forever On this lifetime’s work. A place is just a place, But for the toil, the sweat, the dream With which one breathes it life, And I remarked how lifeless it is, upon the leaving. Like viewing the corpse, really, Of someone influential or beloved, And grieving. A hard thing, surely, But for the track now stretching Before me toward pleasures And a well-earned grave. Overlooking exclusive land way above the coast. I shall take the stage without glancing back, For this scenery will be removed before the next act, Drawing rooms and parlors replacing tents and shacks

Here in the mined-out Sierra. And those parlors I will trade For that lonely, costly grave In the final act.

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