Mule Skinner

After five days at the fairgrounds
in Bishop California
finishing third and fourth
in a couple of calf roping events
and chatting with a small but steady stream
of strangers who strolled the rows of stalls
after days of bits of apples and carrots
for children to feed to his mule Sunflower
Henry was more than happy to lift
the heavy tongue of his dust streaked trailer
walk Sunflower up the metal ramp
turn north onto highway 395
and as the mountains began to tinge red
he looked to a summer of days in the saddle
and felt the knots in the back of his neck
two days drive to Bozeman Montana

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