Walt McDonald The 2River View, 6.1 (Fall 2001)

When Out of Doors Seemed Boring

Under the dull eyes of bulls we snorted,
thrusting thumbs from our skulls like horns.
Earl bowed his back, but the bulls ignored him.

They dropped their bony heads to graze,
praying hosanna to weeds that made us sneeze.
We prowled the range for danger, the sun

thundering silence, miles of the same flat horizon.
We envied boys in town who chose up sides for games
or chased each other’s girls on bikes.

We studied the thrusting bulls, rattlers striking
at ropes we dangled. We shot rattlers and hawks
with our fathers’ rifles and rigged kite wings

for flight. We crashed from lofts into barnyards,
breaking the same monotony of hours.
Now, in tract housing in town, I wonder

how many splendid hawks we shot, how often angels
saved us, how many rattlers crawl from boys
too bored to let them live.

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2River All is well.