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Tears on the Trail

Updated on July 15, 2017

Author: W. K. Hayes

Tears on the trail

Tears on the trail was originally written twenty-five years ago. I was fifteen at the time and had experienced my first heart break. Throughout the years, the story

has evolved but very little, as I tried to hold onto the original writing as best I could.

Since this is my 25th article, I could think of no better way to celebrate than to share my 25 year-old poem, with you. Thanks to everyone that has welcomed me to the hubs. I appreciate all of you and your kind words of encouragement.

Tears on the trail

The dust clung heavy to his dry throat as he rode into town

His horse’s head hung low while making a low tired sound

“Just a little further”, the cowboy said to the palomino horse.

When they happened upon a stream along their course

The cowboy climbed down as the saddle creaked beneath his weight

The horse staggered for a moment as though it would faint

The cowboy patted his horse and walked it to the water

But, all he could think about was the lovely sheriff’s daughter

He had met her earlier that year in small muddy town

Fresh off the trail he stopped at the saloon and tied his horse down

His spurs jangled as he walked through the doors of the Cantina

Only to stop when his eyes caught a poster of the beautiful Tina

Although she was the beautiful daughter of the local law

He could have cared less as he walked in and saw

Her long slender legs dancing up on the stage in a whirl

As his heart throbbed deeply for the very sensual girl

It was an experience for him when she stared at her eyes

One that left the cowboy helpless and nearly paralyzed

Then she turned in a whirl as she continued to dance

Leaving him free to move so, he took his chance

He spotted a table off the right side of the stage

But, his eyes seemed fixed, glassy and dazed

Haphazardly, he sat down there at the table

As a waitress introduced herself as being, Mable

The cowboy barely noticed the girl taking his order for beer

As he dreamed up a way to bring Tina so near

With fiery determination he asked the waitress the girl’s name

“Her name is Tina, but you can’t have her and isn’t it a shame?”

The cowboy looked at the waitress and saw her smirk

“Just bring me a beer so I can wash down this dirt.”

The waitress turned and headed directly for the bar

As the cowboy stared at Tina though he were looking afar

He watched her until her dance was through and she left the stage

His desire for her trapped his heart in an unbreakable cage

He could not pull himself away from those eyes

When she suddenly appeared before him to his surprise

“My name is, Tina. May I sit with you ’til the next show?”

“I would love the company and my name is Joe.”

They sat and talked for a while about her dreams of leaving the town

Both lost in each others eyes and amazed at what they had found

The time had come for her to do her next show

As he sat there and dreaded having to watch her go

But, as he watched her perform, her moves enticing him

He quickly found himself not knowing where things would end.

After her last show she prompted him to leave the Cantina

He knew he had fallen in love with the girl named, Tina.

She took him to the outskirts of the little town to her home

“This is my stop”, she said before she decided to sing him a song

Her song was beautiful, passionate and yet, soft to his heart

As he dearly dreaded knowing they would soon have to part

She reached up and kissed him on his cheek and went into her home

Leaving the tired cowboy standing quietly beneath the stars alone

Joe headed back to his horse and took it to the stable

When he was stopped along the way by the waitress, Mable

“You know she’s married to a cowpoke just like you

I’d say leave her alone or she’ll break your heart in two.”

A lump of confusion welled up deep inside his chest

Was Mable lying or did she mean him the best

“Tell me Mable, why would you say such a thing?”

She simply replied, “I’m trying to spare you the pain.”

Time went on as he ignored the girl’s warning

Taking Tina on picnics in the cool of the mornings

At night he would watch her perform each of her shows

As they spent longer evenings tightly bound in love’s throws.

And, then one day, the unwanted truth came to light

She was not the sheriff’s daughter…she was his wife.

The sheriff had returned with his prisoner in tow

It was then that Tina told him, “I’m sorry Joe.”

A flood of memories flashed before his eyes

Of unbridled passion, of kisses and sighs

The tenderness of her touch and the warmth he had felt

The love that they shared locked away his heart in a prison cell

“I really do love you,” he told her as he climbed on his horse

“You were everything to me but such is my life’s course.”

He turned his horse to ride it away into the sun

Bringing him to this stream where his story begun

With a heavy sigh he walked to the edge of the water

Every heavy step brought another thought of her

And as he knelt down by the stream his tears began to well

As he knelled there and cried leaving his tears on the trail

The drops of tears rolled down his face and splattered on the water

As filled up his hat to give drink to his horse, then he saw her

Her reflection appeared over his shoulder to his surprise

Although he did not look thinking tricks upon his eyes

“Hey, Joe,” she whispered as he felt her hand on his head

“I’m sorry Joe but him and I have been long dead.

I should have told you the truth but I was afraid you would leave

And, now I see that my lie has caused you to grieve.”

Joe rose to his feet and turned to see the tears in her eyes

“I love you to death but I can’t take any more lies.”

She grabbed both his arms as he tried not to face her

“Look at me Joe. I’m telling the truth,” she declared by the water

Joe turned his head to look her in her face and asked her softly

“Is this really what you want because a broken heart is too costly?”

“It is all that I want Joe. I know I love you as much as you love me”

Then, his lips fell upon hers with a kiss that would last for eternity.


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    • W. K. Hayes profile imageAUTHOR

      Warren Keith Hayes 

      7 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Thank you Dusty for enjoying this poem. Tears on the trail is an awesome old poemthat I am turning into a novel. The novel is taking a lot research because of how it will be presented but but I am enjoy learning way much more about the old west. Western movies are great but they are deviant from the truth of what relaly happened in those days and what relaly happened back then is a lot more disturbing.

    • Dusty Snoke profile image

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      Beautifully written. All I can say is "wow".

    • W. K. Hayes profile imageAUTHOR

      Warren Keith Hayes 

      7 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Thank you OneGoodWoman...It is an old poem that I will always remember and treasure. It is one of the few works that I have from when I first started writing.

    • onegoodwoman profile image


      7 years ago from A small southern town

      I read this yesterday and said nothing.

      Today, it was among the things worthy of re-reading.

      Still, the best that I can say, is that I understand.......

      lonliness, loss, and the call to move on.

      These things of which you have written speak to us all.

    • W. K. Hayes profile imageAUTHOR

      Warren Keith Hayes 

      7 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Thank you Kim Lynn, I appreciate it and you have a really great New Years too.

      Tnderhrt23, we do suffer at the hands of Fate and its twisted sense of humor.

    • tnderhrt23 profile image


      7 years ago

      Lord have mercy, W.K.! That is a story I am all too familiar with, myself! Perhaps that is what struck such a rich chord!

    • Kim Lynn profile image

      Kim Lynn 

      7 years ago

      Beautiful and fitting tribute to your 25th. Congratulations!

      Many Blessings this New Year,


    • W. K. Hayes profile imageAUTHOR

      Warren Keith Hayes 

      7 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Thank you tnderhrt23...I have written a ton of poetry that, I've lost throughout the years but this poem has always stayed by my side in my travels. Ironically, the truth in the poem has followed me through the years too. Falling in love with the right person at the wrong time seems to be a strength of mine. LOL


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