The Saddle

Coiled on warm limestone
The snake
Poised to strike
The horse
Rearing
Rider
Grasping
Up Up Up and
Over
Backwards
Falling
Onto hard rock
Snapping its spine.

Trapped underneath
His hip smashed
He lay
Screaming
Each time
The horse
Struggled to rise

Finally reached the Winchester
Stuck the barrel between its ears
And bits of red membrane flew in all directions
“Fucking animal”
He screamed
As death
Convulsed the body to a standstill.

After working his leg out from under
The horse
It took him two days to crawl the
Four miles
Back to his ranch.

Plaster cast
From the hip down
He lay
Staring
Out the window.

I walked from the doorway
Down the long corridor
And sat quietly
Beside
His bed

Moving only
His mouth as
He stared
Out at the spring grass
Asked me about the
Six hundred dollar
Saddle
With his nameon it
He’d won
The year before
As best Allround Cowboy
In the Williams Lake Stampede.

I said
When I’d gone back
Some Bastard
Had stole it.


Braden Corby ©