“At the Dinosaur Rodeo” by Robert Borski


 

 

 

 

 

 

Calf roping officially opens
the extravaganza, and offers
the usual challenges
of trying to get a loop
over the huge frill of bone
and not get gored
at the same time by any
of the calf’s three horns
or trampled big time
in an entanglement of legs,
since even a baby cerat
can weigh half a ton.

No vaqueros brave or crazy
enough to enter the steg riding
contest materialize, however,
although this does give the clowns
an opportunity for some
extended silliness
as they mime the likely
consequences of such an event,

but when the call is made
for the bronto buck, more
than a few intrepid souls
step forth.

With only a surcingle
to hold on to, each entrant
sits atop his or her apat
(again, barely more than hatchlings,
fresh from the dinotharium),
waiting for the gate to open
and the thing between their legs —
perhaps best described as “part
snake, part earthquake” —
to lumber forth out into the yard,
trying to dislodge
the mutated tree shrew
its toothier cousins once enjoyed
as quick snacks.

Speaking of which,
the foodstands have the usual array
of retro meats, most of which
have come a long way since the earlier
I-thought-this-was-supposed-to-taste-
like-chicken mishaps.

Unfortunately, about the only thing
to sully this year’s Stampede
is the results of the gene swab,
when it’s revealed that the overall points
winner — Cowboy King Chapman — has more
than the 4% Neanderthal DNA allowable,
although later his team will issue
a press release alleging lab mishandling
and reiterating the veteran cowpoke’s
previous opposition to genome doping.

_______________

Robert Borski
is the author of Blood Wallah and Other Poems (Dark Regions Press) and lives in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

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