When I was a child

I didn’t share the same dream

of being a cowboy

that my friends did.


Which makes it surprising that lately,

I wake up each morning

and don chaps

before coffee.


The teenage heart is a wild mustang

racing along the soft earth

pushing itself to the limit

willing to jump the canyon.

Because it can.


Last week at a grocery store

the guy giving away free wine samples

offered her one.

He shot himself in the head

when she told him her age.


When we go out together

I shoot fire from my eyes

at men who can’t help but look.

She just got her driver’s license

for fuck’s sake.


And now there’s a boy.

A year older.

“We’re just friends.” she says.

“You have to learn to trust me.”


“Oh, I do.” I say

as I bang my hat against dusty jeans

dancing slow circles around her

lasso ready to fly.


When I was a child surrounded by cowboys,

I always rooted for the Indians.

But now I’m buying a gun

She has a younger sister.


This is the eighth poem of my personal 30-day poetry challenge to break away from the machine to think about things that don’t matter. I have no idea what I’m doing. – Jim

Falling in Love

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.

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