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Leathery, wry, and rough

Jaw full of chaw, and slits

For eyes- - - This guy is tough.

He climbs the slatted fence

Pulls himself atop and sits,

Tilts back his cowboy hat.

Stained with sweat below

the crown, and wipes a dirty

Sleeve across his brow.

Then pulls the hat down tight

Caresses up the sides

and spits into the dirt,

A benediction.

Vision narrower still

The man guards the beast,

There's weight enough to kill.

Bone and muscle enough to kill

Bone and muscle fit a least

To tear a man apart.

The cowboy sniffs and hitches at

His pants. Himself, all heart

and gristly, he watches as

the hands outside the chute

Prepare the sacrificial act,

Then he moves, swerving up

and into place, he pricks the

Braham's bullish pride.

The gate swings open free and

Screams begin to sanctify

Their pitching tortured ride.

by: Gary Peterson

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