A Nickel Shy

My lips are cracked and swollen, worth every single bite
Fried up this here rattlesnake under the glow of the Coleman lamp
The moon ain’t cracked the horizon, see its pale sliver of light
It’s a nickel shy of waning, time to start to break up camp

Got some silver in my pocket, got a hidden gold dust pouch
Got to get it to the city, get the pressure off my back
Every time I stop my horse, I swear I hear a couple o’ clops
But these canyons they can echo, not sure that I ain’t cracked

I left Magnolia back at the lean to, keeping poachers from our claim
If I don’t make it to the city, I spec she’ll go back to sweet Lorraine
We got some land up on the hillside, where the creek runs deep and strong
Sometimes I wonder what we’re doing here, is it right or was it wrong?

I think I might have killed a man, not inclined to take a look
Heard the crack and then the bullet hit the dirt by my left foot
Raised the rifle quick as a rabbit, pulled the trigger for one shot
Aimed right into the thick scrub, grabbed the reins and just took off

Just two days out the city, the air is thick as stone
Took the back way out from Reno, tryin’ to keep away from trouble
That pouch of gold is heavy, on my heart and on my bones
Just two more days of worry, we’ll have enough if we get lucky

I left Magnolia back at the lean to, keeping poachers from our claim
If I don’t make it to the city, I spec she’ll go back to sweet Lorraine
We got some land up on the hillside, where the creek runs deep and strong
Sometimes I wonder what we’re doing here, is it right or was it wrong?

The City she is covered with the dust of a thousand men
Every inch of every building looks more like dirt than wood
I make my way down to Wells Fargo, at Market Street and Grant
Pull gold dust from my saddlebags and slap it down for good

Got enough to build our house now, took four years and countin’
Can start to rest a little easy, inclined to keep on movin’
The Pony mail just came in, my name is called from deep within
Read the writing on the paper and my eyes can’t see so good

There was trouble back at the claim site, Magnolia got took by some crossfire
Says here that they buried her yesterday on account of this damn heat
Got nowhere left to go now, the money feels like nothing
but a ransom I can’t pay, to keep her here with me

I left Magnolia back at the lean to, keeping poachers from our claim
If I don’t make it to the city, I spec she’ll go back to sweet Lorraine
We got some land up on the hillside, where the creek runs deep and strong
Sometimes I wonder what we’re doing here, is it right or was I wrong?

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