Peets Hillbilly

Illustration by Michelle Osman

Peets Hillbilly

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Sid Gustafson

A poem, a path ineffable.
A forest, a hill, a ski. That walk 
Where Bozeman dogs flock to talk. 

The Deaconess squares higher into our viewshed.
Birdseye views of the cemetery
Accompany annual physicals these days, chasing time.  

Over the fence, a plastic-flowered Vietnam War memorial.
Cats I nipped—secretly buried with their guardians.
This side of eternity—dogs abound, happy dogs.  

Peets Hill, where happy horses once grazed.
Horses I floated for our local hero, Poet Bob Ross,
Black-and-whites grazed the fescue before horses, milkers to be. 

Open by day, a dream stroll by night.
Alone as the moon—crescent, gibbous, full. New.
Planets perigee. Stars apogee. Spilt Milk. Pathway of Souls. 

Come morn, dogs run free—save the docked, leashed, and electrified,
Altered dogs needing run. Happiest, healthiest dogs in town, mostly,
Winners of the Bozedog lottery, luckiest potlickers in town. 

People march, electrified likewise, screened from their Hill.
Wile—our solo fox—warps his bark through
The old-folk’s-home waft of fried bacon and Dutch potatoes. 

Sid Gustafson is a resident Hillbilly, chasing horses and heifers over Peets’ sacred space back in the day—chasing them still.

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