THE STARGAZER'S RIDE for WILD WILD WESTCowboy contest

Written by: Victoria Anderson-Throop

                                             THE STARGAZER'S RIDE
                                         (or THE LAST SPURRING LICK)

                                        Saddle shoulder-tossed like feather light
                                        Aging cowboy strutted for the crowds
                                        The throngs that mingled in his mind
                                        From past glory, cheering loud.

                                        Across his shoulder down his back
                                        Leather mended with great care
                                        Oiled and rubbed with tender hands
                                        A woman never stirred such love.
                                       
                                         Excitement scuttled--- colors blazed---
                                         whooping kids these afternoons—
                                         Livestock stirr and kicked the stalls
                                         inhaling echo pumped excitement’s blur—

                                         Colors mixed with fear and joy
                                         Set the boldest man on edge
                                         Broken bones mere memories--
                                         Blotted out behind the thrills  
                                         That bucked behind the unknown stalls.
                                        
                                         A sudden certainty grabbed him
                                         As real as bucking in the stalls
                                         His breath still strong and stalwart sure
                                         The sounds and colors shimmered on

                                         Visions flashed from death to glory
                                         Called to thrills that grind the soul.
                                         He'd had his fill of limps and aches
                                         No delights in growing old .

                                         Today he'd end his life on fire
                                         A rank Star gazer sucking back
                                         His time the best—tho body crushed
                                         He’d give this crowd a shattering crack



Rodeo Terms:
spurring lick--the movement of a cowboy's feet
Rank—hard animal to ride
Star gazer- animal that bucks with his head up
Suck back: animal that suddenly switches direction
Crack--excitement