"See the horsie, Uncle," my niece says to me
as I lift her from the bouncing seat of her
carriage. "See the horsie! It comin'."
She squirms and kicks in my arms,
smiling with eyes wide and bright
beneath the sun of the afternoon as
an equine group-- Buckskin,
Men and women, sitting high
cradled in soft, worn leather
wear spurs that chime
with every step. Brimmed hats.
Dusty blue jeans.
Sequins and ribbons.
My niece and I sit watching
on the weathered bleachers.
They come one after another.
Shooting down through the arena
from the gate.
Turning quick around the poles.
Around the barrels.
"See the horsie!" she says to me
again clapping and bouncing
on my lap. "Horsie runnin'."
She looks on as hoofs kick
dusty clouds in their wake.
Manes ripple back
through the wind.
Down the fairway among throngs
of people. Old-time farmers in their
overalls walk among young generations
caught between the buds of their iPods
or the clicks of a texting phone.
Lights. Bells. A woman hands small
bibles to those who pass by.
Candy apples for sale amongst
the pink, blue and white clouds of
A calliope whistles out its tune
from the carousel spinning 'round
among children's smiles and the
dreams of infants.
"Ride the horsies," says my niece.
And I take her through the gate.
Let her choose her fiberglass
For a moment,
she rides as graceful, skillful
as any of those in the
Her steed even shudders ever
so slightly as it dips down,
mimicking a gallop 'round
its endless journey.
And she looks up toward
my face. Smiles.
"I ride the horsie, Uncle."
Her tiny curls blow in