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Saturday, November 12, 2022



To the bus with wide seats to be
Filled with middle age members of
The Chamber of Commerce blue hairs
Smoothe roads south then north in western
South Dakota prairie for promotional
Visits to ranches where Angus cattle
Spend their limited grass fed lives
In preparation for the plates
Of my home when my sales improve

Breakfast of steak and eggs
South of town paid for by a worried rancher
I don't know but he's a friend's father
Who also has town business and money
I just saw his face in conversation
More wrinkled than just sun
More wrinkled than just age
In his Stetson hat and Tony Lama boots
Where did he rent all this seating

Outside the bus parked on gravel
The prairie doesn't care for what trods it
Or about business or coyotes
Prairie chickens puff their gullets
To attract females for bird sex
Mammal claws dig for a small meal
Deeper in the sun hardened sod
Prairie dogs scurry for the other exit
Only for eagles and hawks to swoop

Breakfast over we return 
In a que to the bus with tighter seats
Full of coffee and fried potatoes
Dead Angus and scrambled ovums
Oh I'm impressed with this generous rancher
There's nothing more I can stuff into me
Now I wonder if the bus has a toilet
That doesn't embarrass when I walk
Back through the tall seats and staring women

Headed north we're told lunch 
at the next ranch almost North Dakota
Owned by a famous family
Part of the Little House heritage will be
After a ranch stop outside Belle Fourche
Or was that other ranch first
Years past remembrance of detail
Everything is black cattle and clones today
Pot roast on the hoof with scalloped potatoes

Outside Faith named by Catholics or people
Worried how life on this open land
Will bring it's worst to the families settled here
Welcome find by rumor passing through the crowd
The ranchers new ten grand Bull 
Is tits up in a field after lightning the night before
I wonder if insurance will help
Or is the steak I eat too fresh for words
Yes bulls don't have tits so dick up then

The last stop is where gallons of semen
Last through the ages in liquid nitrogen
To take it's expected progeny through growth
Through a future of prairie and feed lots
To that magic number of twelve hundred fifty
Pounds of beefy barbeque layered in sauce
Smothered in human drool and buttered onion
The trip over its home to chicken with everything
But the cluck and beak a meal devoutly to be wished

Barry G. Wick

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