Cherry Creek

 The family was headed for a weekend of visiting friends
Eating casino food and reata roping in Reno town
But she opted
To help a friend doctor yearlings instead
Bedroll, check,
Saddle, snaffle, blanket, chinks, warmest coat you’ve got
Happy little gal
Brown hair covered up with a red winter cap
Bounced her way into a bitter spring camp
And spent
A very happy 4 days
Necking her first steer
Doctoring with fingers frozen stiff
Greasy breakfast mornings
And watching the boys puff cigars to help stay warm
Meander along,
Step down
Cinch up
Build to him, poor little sick fella
Yeller’s feet feel awfully slick on this icy, frozen tundra that used to be a pivot
Oh God I feel like an idiot
Boys keeping pace, offering good-humored advice, like swing harder!
ONE TWO THREE times and throw
Loop sailing, sailing, why does it feel so heavy and slow?
Finally settles clumsily around the neck
And dear lord I think we’re falling,
I’d rather not watch if you don’t mind, so I’ll just squeeze my eyes tight shut
But no, it’s just nerves and cold
Slide a little rope
And hold your dallies like the boys do
A pretty pink cross on this yellow calf’s head to say that’s he’s been done
All right, who’s next?!
Replay and Repeat
And how about a lazy lunch
And waste some time in the machine barn
Roping a dummy
Perfecting that shot till you’re warm with exertion and shoulder is sore
And the days pass and fill up with memories of
Generators and Mel Brooks quotes
Broken in ropes and where it feels right to throw
Before she knows it
It’s time for her to head back
To family and chores and school
But first a nap in the saddle shop parking lot
While she waits for them to open up
An hour there and our little brown haired, red-capped miss
Leaves $100 lighter
And with silver rings glinting in her ears

xo xo Liz