It is a sunny day in New Mexico,
she has tucked her orange and
pink shirt neatly into her jeans.
Checks her white Stetson in
the mirror. Last run of the day.
Her paint horse leans into the last
turn around a pole. It knows the
course. It feels victory. Its heart
pounds as one with her, brown
and white mane unfurling as her
blonde hair waves out from under
her hat. Hooves pound the turf,
kicking up large clumps. Her
hands gently hold the reins, the way
that they do books at school,
a basketball at the free throw line,
the dream of going to prom.
They will not win and soon she
will be home, painting pink over
the dirt under her fingernails,
in a room full of ribbons, trophies,
belt buckles the size of serving trays.
–for Jocelyn Lucsko