TICKET by Paul M. Quinton

 

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TICKET
by Paul M Quinton

Two handfuls of yellow corn
……….Into the black bucket
Makes a ticket to ride long far fences
…………of stretched and broken wire
………….On the black mare with her crooked white blaze
………….and three white socks.

She wakes from her graze
…………..head jerked up
…………….ears, eyes pinned straight
 ………….to the noisy dry kernels
………….shaking yellow
………………….in the black bucket’s bottom
…………..that scrapes over the fence to make its call
as the skinny grey dog yelps and whines to be unchained.

She lingers, thinks, turns away,
…………….Reading the future.
The relentless dry rattle calls her back
She stops, straight ears aimed to the call,
…………thinking,
………….and turns,
And tries again to slide away.
…………….The corn beckons with no recourse
…………………….till the rope passes
…………….across her back
…………….around her neck
…………….cold iron clanks on her teeth
…………….Dry skin from another ties her mouth and back.
…………….She nibbles crunching mindless rhythms on the cracking dry grains
…………….and dribbles yellow white drool to dance with her soft pink lips.

She pushes sun from east to west beneath me
…………….Through thistle and thorn and time
…………….With sweat and pain and load
…………….To where the bull broke through — right there

It is done.

…………….Saddle gone
…………….Yellow gone

The empty black bucket lays by the gate
She turns her crooked blaze
And straightened ears.
The corn was sweet.

© 2017, Paul M Quinton
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Paul M Quinton comments:

This poem was inspired by what is probably a common experience by anyone who has had to go to the pasture to catch a mount.  As usual, on this occasion my mare was in to her normal antics of playing “come and catch me if you can.”  Pretending to wait for me to come until she backed off or pranced away before I could drop a rope over her.  After several frustrating attempts, I had to resort to the tried and true technique of going back to the barn for a couple of handfuls of corn in a feed bucket, the rattling sound of which created the sure-fire mesmerizing attraction that always brings her close enough and distracted enough for me to pass a lead line easily over her neck without the slightest resentment while she chews in bliss.  After that she’s the best there is. Saddle, bit, bridle— ready to go anywhere needed all day long while the foreman’s little dog watched, and waited, and whined to be free to come along, too.

I should have brought my ticket to ride with me in the first place.

About Paul M Quinton:

The author was raised in a rural southeast Texas town with a horse, a cow, pigs, dogs, rabbits, armadillos, turtles, “crawfish,” and an unrelenting wish for a ranch. After a stint of hitch-hiking in South America and returning some time later, he found living poetry in an old campo in central Argentina twenty some years ago with a cow-calf operation, mainly grass fed, with a few horses. He’s still not a “real” cowboy (can’t rope worth a damn), but he gets as close as he can sitting on a horse moving out a cow or two.

Find more of Paul M Quinton’s poetry here at CowboyPoetry.com.