Eyes squint tight against the sun.
Hat screwed on tight against the wind.
Focus on the target, weight on feet.
Grip with your legs. Lean forward.
Hold the reins loosely, start the loop.
Look at the nose, not the horns.
Throw the loop and draw the dally.
Tight! Tight! Tight. Don’t slip.
Don’t get caught against the horn.
Turn away. Let the horse do the work.
Rope burns hot under your gloves.
He drawled, his voice like molasses.
Slightly bitter and thickly sweet.
Holding up scarred hands with
fingers bent to the shape of rope
and rein. Legs bowed from saddle
hours, shaped by the horse and ride.
Drawing stories of the range work
with his words. Strange words to
city ears, music to ranch girls.
Open range and all the time
we need to tell the tale. No rush.
He rubs a scar, remembering a
rope burn so very well.
He goes through life sorting a to-do list.
Once it is done, it is gone. Move on.
She goes through life taking snapshots.
Each one worth the time to enjoy.
He hardly gets done the job before.
Gotta go. Move on. Nothing to see here.
She lingers, enjoying the moment, the color.
The flavors and sounds of memories stay.
He is constantly on the move. Go. Now.
Thinking. Pondering. Random. Gone.
She wants to enjoy, to hold the moment.
Each one a special singular moment of time.
He misses the moments, gets rope burn!
She holds on too tight, they go. Rope burn.
Shadows dance along the sandy shore.
Moving their moments along stately.
Sandals left, their abandon revealing.
Their shadows growing long .
Laughter dances along the sandy shore.
Moving eyes to smile, moments glisten.
Sandals left, waiting on dryer ground.
Their shadows growing long.
Memories caught with a shutter’s click.
Moving one frame to the next, capturing.
Sandals caught, in a moment framed.
Their shadows stilled forever.
Holding tight to two days, she sifts sand.
Moving it through fingers, she smiles.
Sandals hot in the fading sun.
Their shadows a bruise, rope burn.
One word. A tone. A look.
The frozen heat rises up.
Her face feels red, shamed?
Her body tenses, flight?
Her mind snaps – fight!
Hold on. Hold on tight.
No wait, let go! Let go!
Emotions race hot
with acidic words
and burning tears.
A rope burn of emotion.