Catherine Moss's "Ruby Wedding Anniversary"

by Shaun Hunter


Calgary Through the Eyes of Writers

Heavy horses at the Calgary Stampede (Photo: Shelagh McHugh Cherak)

Heavy horses at the Calgary Stampede (Photo: Shelagh McHugh Cherak)

At the gates, the young woman waves them in – free Stampede passes for the couple in their fortieth year of marriage. They make their way through “a clamour of fried onions” toward the Big Top and the “sweet hay-sweat/of Percherons dappled and black.” When the heavy-horse show is over, her husband jumps from the bleachers.

 

I watch him drop

stumble

on a cardboard box

lurch backward

two inch bolt

slices

scalp

wound flows

into a bystander’s pack of tissues

my hand

sticky and scarlet

his shirt soaked

blood

dropping on straw and the upturned brim

of my new white

cowboy hat

 

Catherine Moss, “Ruby Wedding Anniversary,” Swallowing My Mother (Frontenac House, 2001)