by Keith Charles Dovoric

He came into El Paso on a straight job full of fruit
Coyotes in the dust and Federales in pursuit
He unpacked his belongings a bit farther down the line
In some room with faded curtains and a number on the motel sign

He found himself factotum jobs; at night, he played guitar
He played before those Pecos slobs who fell down at the bar
He earned a reputation for his fingers and stage flair
And, most notable of all, his unlikely crimson hair

Well, they passed the white hat nightly and he filled it to the brim
Thanks to all those drunken cowboys who rode miles to croon with him
He beamed with fragile confidence in the single bandstand light
And left arm-in-arm with ladies almost every single night

Now one night, he got greedy as his pride was showing through
He’d often make for one girl, but tonight, he’d left with two
He was stroking them so gently on the gravel of that parking lot
When a pissed and perturbed cowboy aimed a single, fateful shot

When that Mexican woke up, he was lying near a shrub
And he felt this awful spurting coming from his left-hand stub
Fingers, they were everywhere, all curled up in little strips
And it came to him, he’d not feel again his beloved gittar’s grip

Since then, he’s been slaving at some Texarkana spot
Slinging sweet Tequila cocktails and tostadas oh-so-hot
And the patrons know him fondly, though no solace does that bring
To that sad red-headed Mexican who once made the gittar sing.

(For ‘that guy’ at Toro Loco, South Orange, NJ)

Keith Charles Dovoric is a New Jersey-based writer, musician, and teacher whose works have been recognized by, and featured in, several online periodicals of note. Mr. Dovoric has been composing, recording, and performing original songs for over twenty years; his most recent recording, 80-Proof Tears, was released independently in 2013 for download and direct mail-order. Mr. Dovoric resides with his beloved wife and son in suburban Essex County, NJ. Currently, he teaches English Language Arts.