Saturday, December 8, 2007

Charles Hansmann: THE WHOLE WEST

We play cowboy so long our canteens go dry and when our mother gives us root beer we call it sarsaparilla. We wear matching six-shooters but when we play frontiersman we take them from their holsters and pretend they are flintlocks. We have a steer’s sawn horn and when they are flintlocks we say it’s for powder. But when we play cavalry and need reinforcements we raise it to our lips and blow it like a bugle. Then my sister snags

onto that holiday word and calls it Cornucopia like naming a doll. We’ve had hats and vests all along but now I get chaps and she a fringed skirt. Girls sometimes pretend they are boys, she says, but boys never pretend they are girls.

by Charles Hansmann
Sea Cliff, New York
text first published in bottle rockets #17, V9, N1, Summer 2007 in different form

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