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Philip Nolan

By John I. Blair

In bronze your name appears
Beside State Highway 174
And a live oak we imagine
Held the rope that hung you.

Again, in paint, on bridges
By a rocky stream that flows
Past Cleburne, Rio Vista,
Through Blum into the Brazos.

Brave Irishman, bigamist,
Filibustero, horse thief,
You died at Spanish hands in 1801
Somewhere near.

Your name brought tears
When whispered to your friends,
Your two young wives,
Children without a father.

But after years your name
Means nothing
To boys skipping stones
And teasing sunfish in your river

Or to the breeze that blows
Across your unmarked grave.

2008 John I. Blair


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