Ashley Halm

Ode to a Cowboy

You insist you’d rather be a ghost

Wandering untethered from one place to the next

And I think maybe I used to believe that too.

But I also think that people can be resting places

Soft spots to land, to hang up your hat

And be washed of the day’s dust.

A soft spot can be hard to show

Because that’s where the arrows find you

And leave you with scars that sparkle like spurs.

In the five o clock shadows and seven o clock sunsets

We lend the pieces of ourselves we can afford to lose

Until we are tangled together like so many old reins.

I think if there is a god

He makes cowboys two of a kind

And scatters them over the desert in the hot sand.

The chances of finding each other

Before the animals do are slim

But maybe this is the oasis.


Ashley Halm (she/they) is a senior at SUNY Fredonia double majoring in theater arts and English with a minor in creative writing. Originally from Corning, New York, Ashley’s writing interests include poetry, flash fiction, and playwriting. In her sparse spare time, she enjoys cooking, making art, and reading.