On The Wings Of A Dove

by Robert Vaughan

for Matthew Wayne Shepard (12/1/76- 10/12/98)

When the wind whistles
through any barbed-wire
fence you can hear him
sing your name, you

who left him hanging
there like a scare-
crow, through a
black, never-ending night

and a Laramie
prairie chill, a torture that
even the killdeer’s scree
could not see coming…

kidnapped, robbed, pistol-
whipped, then eighteen
hours in crystallizing temps
tethered to a fence

his coma was so quiet,
one of the killers would
later say, you could almost
hear ice rattling down the canyon

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