In Oklahoma I paid a dime
to see that kid call
"Shane! Come back, Shane!"
and I couldn't figure it —
how Alan Ladd could do that,
ride steely-eyed across the plain
toward the one way out, the west,
or why he wouldn't stay
and play father.

Now, at age 43, for two bucks,
I might see if anything's changed —
me or the movie. But I'm afraid
of the same old story
where somebody I want to stay
will enter the grain of leaving,
his hankering gaze already
on far-off horizons,

and for the rest of my life
that same dumb kid —
who must be old enough by now
to be his own old man —
he'll be chasing after Alan Ladd
crying "Shane! Shane! Come back!"
letting the credits
roll over his face.

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