The Homecoming of Johnny McLeod

Pounding down the dusty trail,

far up and off away,

pounding toward McLeod place.

Johnny comes home today.

A year ago, the snow still clumped

in mounds of melting gray.

A year ago he’d worn his sword—

but now he comes home—to stay.

She hardly remembered the smell of his beard.

She’d kissed him and longed to delay.

But as soon as dawn, the horse was gone

and Johnny had gone far away.

The barn felt abandoned, the house stood forlorn.

The dog seemed to lie in the way.

Even the sky wept in trickles—sad tears

till…Johnny comes home today!  

The hoofbeats were drumming her heart raced in skips.

She rushed from the door to the way

where strangers were standing, and holding a corpse.

But…Johnny comes home today.

The sunlight was sinking just over the hill,

the grave cross was fresh as the clay.

Six soldiers were standing in silent respect

for Johnny was home today.

Pounding up the dusty trail

far down and off away.

The riders were gone, just over the hill,

and Johnny was home…to stay.

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