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Tag Archives buffalo

FOOTSTEPS

One day, after sunrise – in the time before

the ice sheets began to melt – a girl

or a boy, about twelve, carrying

an infant, walked quickly south with long strides,

stopping once to let the infant walk briefly.

At some point a woolly mammoth crossed their tracks,

and a giant sloth paused to sniff the air.

Later the young person walked back north alone.

 

The muddy footprints fossilised – some ten

millennia ago. The big beasts went,

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BUFFALO BILL ON THE ROODEE, CHESTER, 1903

And here he is at the head of a line
of his Wild West Circus artistes, Native
Americans in traditional feathers,
sharpshooters and rodeo cowboys,
all ahorse, with a chap in a raincoat
and trilby standing by on the turf
as if calling out ‘Starters’ orders!’
and well dressed spectators
leaning over the parapet of the Roman walls.

The Roodee used to be a tidal pool.
It silted gradually and became
a vast Guild sponsored football pitch until
the injuries and the drunkenness forced
the city fathers to outlaw football
and create a race course,

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