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Monday, October 22, 2007


by Rochelle Ratner


Ride 'em, Cowboy! That's what kept going through her mind on the long drive from New York to Colorado. On their second date he'd impressed the hell out of her when he mentioned his waiting room had seats from the old Mile High stadium. She's lived here barely six months and the Broncos make it to the final playoff. He assures her he knows his way around the ticket scene. She's already bought new jeans and her first pair of cowboy boots. She also knows, of course, they can't afford scalper prices. Her husband's just getting his urology practice started. It never crossed her mind that he performs vasectomies, or that any man in Colorado would want one.


And now it’s the Rockies turn. Winning seven straight playoff games, almost unheard of. Football’s more his interest, but if he could get tickets between first and home it might be fun. or more than fun. Whatever “fun” is in these hyped-up steroid days. Newspapers spread out on the table, it’s hard to think straight. His thoughts turn back to football. He thinks of Michael Vick. He thinks about castration. He thinks of men wanting vasectomies reversed, whose wives leave them anyway. He can’t get Vick’s dogs out of his mind. He thinks, this year, he has nothing to offer.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Leads (Otoliths Press, 2007), Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006) and House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). She is the author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels (Bobby’s Girl and The Lion’s Share) both published by Coffee House Press). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage.