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