and someone opens the corral gate,
cowboys and cowgirls in bright blouses
gather along the top rail like at rodeos.
“Okay, girl,” the mare’s owner says, “shake your tail,”
and he pats her on the rear.
“You say her name’s Kitty?” the stud’s owner says.
“Kitty, meet Luke. Luke’s a good man.”
While Luke the stud stands and snorts
Kitty plays it coy, looks around,
then walks over to get a drink.
“C’mon, ol’ Luke,” a cowboy calls,
“What are you waitin’ for? Buy her a drink.”
A cowgirl says, “First dates are difficult.”
“Tell her you like the way she moves.”
“Ask him what he does for a living.”
“Tell her she’s got pretty eyes.”
“Ask him if he still lives with his mother.”
The older men light up, prop a foot on a rail
and talk weather or feed
until they’re interrupted by the young
who cheer and then clap for Kitty,
who’s gotten down to business,
and Luke, who shows what he’s made of.
When it’s over, it’s only a minute till Kitty gets loaded.
“Hey,” a cowgirl says, “Luke didn’t even ask her to stay over.”
“He wants to watch football,” a guy says.
“Or sleep,” another cowgirl says.
The young people head to their trucks as a group,
laughing and joking at first, then become quiet
and start to pair up.
~ Frank Higgins
(appeared in the Flint Hills Review)
Frank Higgins is both a playwright and poet. His play Black Pearl Sings has been one of the most produced in the country over the last few years. His books of poetry include Starting From Ellis Island, Bkmk Press. He teaches playwriting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Pat Daneman has lived in Lenexa, Kansas since 1986. Recent work appears on the art and literature website, Escape Into Life, in The Moon City Review, I-70 Review, Bellevue Poetry Review, and The Comstock Review. Her chapbook, Where the World Begins, was published in 2015 by Finishing Line Press.