Smoke in the air,
shade of this oak and sycamore
sixty years ago,

I pushed calves
to the iron roper:
pivoting table, rope and pulley

for vaccination, castration,
swallowfork and a brand
before they got big—

fifty head,
two men and a boy
in a short morning.

A counter-intuitive art
staying close
to save your shins,

yet keep the shit
on your jeans
to a minimum—

good practice
for a kid on the way
to become a man.


3 responses to “IRON ROPER

  1. Now there’s a metaphor for life!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful, from both ends of the spectrum


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