Let ‘er Buck

At the Pendleton Roundup

I lie breathless on my back
knight without armor
in ritual dance of man and nature

to dominate the nature of man
Sledgehammers bruise the soft meat
inside my ribs

I catch my breath
find my feet and my hat
beating dust off against my thigh

No thrill in an easy ride
Tomorrow night
I’ll stick longer

ride that bronc into hell
ride the wild tame
earn the name buckaroo

The pick up rider hooks my arm
slings me up breezy behind him

wheezy and wincing on his spooky appaloosa

I raise my arm
The crowd cheers
Some cheer

for the broken buckaroo
with the bruised ego
Some for the beast unbroken



David Memmott

About David Memmott

David Memmott has published five books of poetry, a novel and a story collection. His poem, “Where the Yellow Brick Road Turns West,” was a finalist for the 2010 Spur Award from Western Writers of America. The Larger Earth: Descending Notes of a Grounded Astronaut was selected as one of 150 best poetry books for 150 years of Oregon statehood by Poetry Northwest and Oregon State Library. He is a Fishtrap Fellow, a recent Playa resident and recipient of three Fellowships for Publishing from Literary Arts, Inc., for his work as editor and publisher of Wordcraft of Oregon, LLC (www.wordcraftoforegon.com). He completed a new novel, Canned Tuna, in January, and is currently looking for a publisher. He is also managing editor of Phantom Drift: A Journal of New Fabulism. He lives in La Grande, Oregon, with his wife, Sue, and two yellow labs.
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