Saturday, March 19, 2011

let's try this again

The "extra" girls
have gone home,
though it took a while
for them to pull away in blue car, red car,
and they called goodbye to my girl for ages.
She stood at the back window of her bedroom
and said, "Get out of my yard!"
then laughed
and laughed.

The Girl will have a meal tonight
with her father,
something meaty (ribs?).
I wish I could explain to him
that her reluctance to schedule him in
is nothing personal,
but that's not my job.
I have been letting go,
no longer buffer,
stripped down
to the new role
I should have taken on
eight years ago?

No, no, it shifts
as child ages
and I age
and we redefine
the shards of us.


Today I am bull,
skin glossy and black,
the gloss fades
as I kick up arena dust.
I feel like charging down the matador
who pricks my hide with a barbed harpoon,
though when I look up bullfighting terminology,
I see that bulls now wear Velcro pads on their backs,
and bullfighters use Velcro tipped staffs
instead of swords.

When I was 5, my family went to Spain on vacation
(not that far since we were stationed near Paris),
and we attended a bullfight.
The sight of the bull running, frantic with pain,
the barbed harpoons waving from his hide,
so bright, each color signifying how much closer
the bull was to death,
I was horrified. I rooted for the bull,
wanted to hide my face in my hands
but couldn't look away.

I suppose if I am the bull,
I'm still rooting for the bull.

Silly woman. I am my own matador.
This metaphor fails to work,
but that's all right.


  1. ohmygod. they kill the bull?! i'm so naive; i had no idea. -sara

  2. Hard to explain and I won't justify it -- except to say that the bull lives a most amazing life until he comes to the corrida, and then, his death is a narrative of three acts, and its as noble death. The matador respects nothing more than that bull, and loves him as he kills him.

  3. MD, yes, I kind of remember the acts and I've read enough about bullfighting since 1962 to understand the respect the matador has for the bull.

    Sara, it's an oddly beautiful type of "theatre," I suppose.

    I vaguely remember that the spectators were kind to us children when we got upset and they tried to explain the relationship between bull and matador, bull and spectators, etc. I was only 5 and hadn't experienced even death of a pet yet.