Llano Vaqueros

Padilla unloads mangy herd of Mexican
cattle in the field.
Meaner, horns long and sharp
for bloody battle, lean from a diet
of prairie weed, looking more
like cattle did years ago
on the plains
than cattle now–
sluggish, pampered globs
stalled year round
for State Fair Judges to admire,
stall-salon dolls, hooves manicured
and polished, hide-hair blow-dried, lips
and lashes waxed.
I ride down the dirt road
on Sunshine (my bay mare)
and she smarts
away from their disdainful glare–
come in, try to lasso us,
try to comb our hair.
I admire my ancestors, llano vaqueros,
who flicked a home-made cigarette in dust,
spit in scuffed gloves, grabbed one
by the horns, wrestled it down,
branded it, with the same pleasure
they enjoyed in a bunk-house brawl.

by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Comments (1)

This piece was easier to read because it di contain some rhythm inthe verses where the rhymed words matched well. This was not true of all. So the entire poem cannot be recommended. There is a good story element here but it isn't enough for the whole writing. GW62