This isn’t my first rodeo.

I’ve been roped before.

The cowboy didn’t mean any harm,

but I found the lariat


I didn’t appreciate

being threatened

with the electric cattle prod.

From atop the goose-rumped

black gelding

after-work words that were


by a purchase from Midway Liquors

flew around me,

spittle flavored with Happy Days

and Wild Turkey.

He didn’t mean any harm,


Today a vaquero praised

my hips and heart.

I think.

I don’t speak Spanish.

He didn’t mean any harm, either.

My husband had never


to a rodeo

so we went,

because he wanted to,

in Sonoita,

a few years back.

God Bless America!

I’m not sure he knew what to expect.

I cringed

and now he’s been to a rodeo.

We’ve ridden a few broncs.

I head,

he heels.

I’ve tied my goats

and he’s wrestled his steers.

And sometimes,

just sometimes,


we know

when they mean


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