Thank you for your kind response, Dear Readers, to the first excerpt I posted from my lyric essay last time. By popular demand (Cupcake, David), I’m posting another pony-sized segment. This one is about my noticing horses for the first time. It was at the Reno Rodeo Parade in June, 1970:
It was the June I turned four. I remember being transfixed by the flags, the marching bands, the drum majorettes twirling and tossing their shining batons. Then came the horses.
I suppose they were ridden, probably by ropers and trail riders and rodeo princesses. But what I saw were the horses—gold, black, dark red, spotted—and gleaming. The sharp brightness of the horses’ coats was matched by the sharp sounds they made, every jogged step punctuated by a hard clack as each steel-shod hoof met the street. The rhythms of the horses’ strides meshed with each other and unmatched, cadent and cacophonous. I listened, smelled the horses’ salty sweat, and watched their elastic bodies arch and stretch. I pulled on my mother’s hand, looked up into her face, and quietly spoke: I want one of those.