The last summer my husband spent
on the family ranch he was eight years old.

An old black and white photograph
shows him tossing a small lariat
in an attempt to snag the back hoof
of a calf.

Smiling at his boyish efforts,
George, the ranch foreman,
stands against the fence.
Wearing a stained Stetson, scuffed boots,
jeans and plaid shirt faded by sun and soap,
he is right out of a John Houston movie.

Except George, like the guys
in the bunkhouse,
is a black man.

Janet Taliaferro