Sunday, May 01, 2005


Horseback, in movies,
does not show the hours
of saddle rubbing raw
soft parts never yet sore,
let alone the endless grip
needed to stay seated lurching
all day.

Photos show something
else again, something ideal
against a cactus backdrop
with rail fence, if possible,
the promise of a hard bedroll
at the long day's end

Who do we kid, here?
Horses are recreation, now:
rich man's toys stabled
better than the Mexicans
who shovel out stalls,
the vast horizon unbroken

In fact, no patch of sky is free
from vapor trails and far-off noise,
no stretch of plain without
high-tension line, tower, house
or road. Even from the godly height
of indifferent travel we pull the shade,
watch our show.