Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Suburban Bison, by James Tate

Suburban Bison

by James Tate

Joshua and I had decided to go bowling.
Neither of us had bowled in years, and we didn't
really like to bowl, so it made no sense. We
were driving down Route 9 when we spotted the
buffalo herd. They were grazing in the snow,
and something about their improbable heads made
me catch my breath. I pulled over to the side
of the road. "Why are they here?" Joshua asked.
"I guess it's some kind of cruel joke," I said.
"Well, it's not funny," he said. "They're way
too majestic. Buffalo are supposed to roam,
that's what the song says, not be penned up
along some strip for tourists to see," he
said. "It beats bowling," I said. And so we
sat there for the next hour contemplating the
life of the postmodern buffalo, deconstructing
their owners, and never putting them back
together again.

"Suburban Bison" by James Tate from Return to the City of White Donkeys. © Ecco Press, 2004; via The Writer's Almanac from March 11, 2009.

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