Ain’t a Hoss Can’t Be Rode

"A bad hoss" by Charles Marion Russe...

“A bad hoss” by Charles Marion Russell. Lithograph. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The rejection doesn’t slip through the mail slot
with a clanking brass slap on your cheek anymore.
It doesn’t get attached with white athletic tape
to the locker room door. You hope it isn’t delivered
with feminine giggles and the chih-chih-ing away
of saddle shoes on tile, once more leaving you standing
empty-hearted. The sting still explodes through you,
but digitized and sterile, without a human claim
of ownership found in a flourish of pen and ink.

The “rub some dirt on it” ol’ boy within you
cups his hands like a stirrup and nods for you
to step back up on that hoss what throw’d ya.
The chubby kid whose name didn’t show up
on that Varsity list suggests you join him
in pouting and spouting crack-voiced woes and “whys.”
The collector of broken dreams wants to build a wall
with them, hiding safe from more disappointment
tossed across the ether by electronic trebuchet.

But you’re now the gray-haired guy with pencil
behind his ear and notebook in his lap
who just catalogs those feelings, the images
and imaginings of the unseen senders, and
the fantasy failure that you’re not. You’ll use them
in some future foray, when you’ll pull the trigger
on one more chance to last eight seconds,
to make the cut, to kiss that girl and she kisses back.
Because you’re funny that way, writer dude.

This week, my friend Kellie Elmore had another interesting Free Write Friday prompt. She called it Writing Wrongs, where we’re supposed to vent about when we’ve felt wronged or treated unfairly, either by way of a situation or another person. I sat down and this happened.

#FWF logo

5 thoughts on “Ain’t a Hoss Can’t Be Rode

  1. This reminded me of being bullied in school…which I was. The chubby girl…which I still am. I can’t tell you how much this resonated with me. And the line
    “The sting still explodes through you,
    but digitized and sterile, without a human claim
    of ownership found in a flourish of pen and ink.”
    (Because that is how I learned to cope.)
    I actually have one short piece in my new book that touches this, but a longer, more explanatory work I have been working on for an anti-bullying post. I hope you will get the chance to read it!

    Sorry if I went way off track here, I was just really taken by some of the things you said here. Thanks so much for writing, Joe. It means so much to have you joining me for my little Friday prompt. I hope you know that I really appreciate and enjoy your presence! ♥


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