Dakota Cowboy

A High Plains drifter

A hitchhiker on gleaming white U.S. 1

An American icon with a Stetson and a Marlboro

Not a cent in his pocket and shit for brains

But he possesses a chiseled chin and a dream

Riches or bust

One more solo in an album of wind songs

Dakota knows all about dust to dust

And although the Missouri awaits its baptism, Dakota is stubborn as hell

It’s the devil with its boots on

Reagan didn’t come from here but he lives here now

Though John Wayne is dead and Black Elk has already spoken

Dakota still ships its wealth East and its hopes West

There is nothing left to eat for the serfs who remain

The starving cannot imagine

The Corps of Engineers and the Missouri River Master Manual

High priests and their holy book, sprinkling federal irreverence under a mean August sun

West River is scattered and gone, all because of the Ghost Dancers and the dirt they kicked up for Sitting Bull

Bear Butte, Harney Peak, Pine Ridge, steeples on the roof of the grassland

Prayer houses for the poor

Nobody wants to admit it, but the party is over

Someone just needs to pick up the trash

But it won’t be that hitchhiker on U.S. 1

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