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Cowboys

On a horsehair sofa next to my Uncle Bud
watching Westerns on his old RCA.
He starts laughing at a cowboy in a bathtub.
When I ask him why, the old man says:
Your great grandpa told me the horsemen of the plains
didn’t want a soak after a hard day’s ride.
They’d wait for a night when there was a summer rain,
then they’d all get naked and go outside.
One would play a fiddle, and one would start to sing.
Young men being young men, they’d all dance around
tossing soap back and forth and getting themselves clean
in the fresh downpour stomping on the ground.
Far older now than Bud was then,
I still dream of cowboys dancing in the rain.

Published in Grand Little Things, July 18, 2022

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