At the Rodeo

 

The animals did their duty and trotted out of the arena, thoughts already elsewhere.

 

Cowboys and cowgirls — ropes coiled, chaps dusted — hung their heads.

 

Bruin Waste Management sponsored the steer-wrestling competition.

 

The loudspeakers buzzed and crackled: “DALE unintelligible unintelligible unintelligible LAST unintelligible unintelligible HORSE unintelligible unintelligible GOMER (???) unintelligible unintelligible …

 

The clown wasn’t clownish, though he certainly tried.

 

The families sitting in the stands were strangely silent.

 

With patience and determination, a little boy stood pointing. And kept pointing. And pointed some more. At what, no one knew.

 

Behind and above us, the sky glowed.

 

We had a great time.

 

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