• Endria Richardson

Cowboy

I want to be a cowboy.

I want to cross Australia

on horseback, bare back with

my hair blown back (and black

tipped against the wind).

If I were a boy, small, young boy

with a brown chest,

or a man with a rippling chest – flat

like the land I ride will be flat, and

with strong arms –

I might not want this. And

if I am instead a small brown girl,

mixed-ethnicity, no horse to speak of,

no saddle to throw to the wind,

at least my dreams – I think they’re too

white, clean, upper-class –

have outraced the bounds I grew up in.

I never rode a horse when I was young,

but one by one my older siblings did.

I was too small. But I made it through

high school, the only one who did.

And Harvard, too, I did.

I do not know how impractical it is

to think of traveling all those miles

on one horse, without one lesson under my belt,

with more than one oddity in me.

I do not know what I will find:

that I am not what I want;

that I have come too far.

Still. Tonight I will close my eyes and

I will be a boy, small and brown

or a man with a rippling chest,

or anything other than this I am.

And I will think of you, who you are,

who I love, who is the good plain land

and

by God I will gallop hard.

#Australia #cowboy #fantasy #poem

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