Around the Corral

by Gary Gildner

"Sharks are very bitey,"
my daughter said,
climbing to the top
rail of our old corral,
"so we don't want any."
I stood beside her
leaning on my elbows,
gazing up the mountain
where a deer had been lying
crooked in a mossy thicket
of spindly pine.
What was left of it-
the skull, hooves, a piece
of knuckly spine-
I buried. Somewhere
farther up, I imagined,
a cougar stretched out
full length and yawned.
"What do we want?" I asked
and after a minute she said,
"A real good horse."
"A real good horse," I said,
"with a real good name,"
and she said, "Yes."
I said, "How about Razzle
Dazzle? "How about Mister
Boom Boom? How about a name
that rolls across the land like
-like what?" "Like his
hair!" she said. "Like his
rocking chair!" "Like One
Happy Guy!" I said. "Like
Come On Home! Like Polish Bear!"
"So now we know," she said,
putting an arm around me.
"So we do," I said.


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