The Shine Journal

Exceptional Flash, Poetry, Art and Photography!



The Bronco Cowboy


DJ Barber

The Bronco Cowboy rode west on a broken saddle. The horses to his left galloped in the midday sun, to-and-fro, to-and-fro. The Bronco Cowboy tipped back his wide-brimmed hat and scrunched his sunburned face at the glaring sky.

He gently tapped his spurs into the sides of his mount and daydreamt about all those places he had rode. Everywhere from Omaha to Oregon, and south down as far as Texas all the way to Yuma.

He grinned at the memory of telling folks down Dallas way that all one needed do to find Oregon was to follow the wagon wheel ruts west out of Missouri. And when you crossed the Colorado into Yuma, it was best done at daybreak to give yourself a chance at finding a rooming house or hotel with an available room by nightfall because so many waywards came there.

The Bronco Cowboy glanced left once more, the horses always there, bringing his thoughts home. The large gray whinnied, impatient for its fodder. Then came the call to lunch, not from a chuckwagon but the triangle on the front porch--its steel singing. 

And then all at once a large man loomed to his right and reached up and grabbed the Bronco Cowboy beneath his arms, whirling him ‘round before setting his boots to the dusty ground.

The two walked toward the porch, mom still clanging the steel triangle. The Bronco Cowboy glanced back at the paddock where the horses grew even more impatient. His broken saddle strapped onto the rail and tied fast to the gate post awaited his return.

Mom rang out the lunchtime call and the Bronco Cowboy followed his dad, the Cowboy, his hero, onwards toward a midday meal; for he’d need a full belly and all the strength he could muster if he were to make Austin by nightfall.

BIO: dj barber writes. He lives in the Willamette Valley of Oregon amongst black-tailed deer and wild turkeys. On occasion he spies the snowy peaks to the east and is inspired by the site.

Motivation: The time of childhood is magical. It would be well if it endured in to adulthood.

Photo: Kaylee Killian

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Email TSJ: Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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