The hard year gives way to a hard year
and one after that, another. The good
year seems lost, a loved dog run away
forgot the road home. But don’t worry.
Help is on the way. It won’t take long.
We’ve heard your cries, on hands and
knees we’re running as fast as we can.
Show at the Fair
About ’62 a September school night
my mother took my brothers and me
and my grandparents to the Fresno County
Fair where for free we sat in the grandstand
of the race track and rodeo arena and saw
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Equestrian Team in scarlet jackets, high
black boots, long gloves, flat-brimmed
hats like Nelson Eddy’s in “Rose Marie”
ride 40 brown horses in amazing figure-
eights and more interweaving complicated
patterns, horses and riders a red and brown
dizzy blur as trumpets played before they
trilled and the cavalry formed a single
facing line and dipped their hats and we
drove south 17 miles under a lost black
starry sky to the farm by Selma to sleep
while the riders changed their uniforms
and watered, fed, rubbed down, curried
their loyal mounts for new fairs and shows,
finally the long drive north toward home.
Nels Hanson grew up on a small raisin and tree fruit farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California. His fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart nominations in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. His poems received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack Review’s 2014 Prospero Prize, and 2015 and 2016 Best of the Net nominations.