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Hillside Sun

George Bowering
From:   : Blonds on Bikes. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1997.


      Your heart says who is this country bumpkin girl in the preposterous Mexican musician cowboy hat, with her sleeves rolled, arms around a black Labrador dog, on her haunches on a hillside in the hot sun of summer a long time ago, or at least, say, about the time you were born? Every second time you look at it the dog's foreleg looks like a carbine rifle, the picture becoming nineteenth cetury sepia bad vaquero romantic killer needing a shave. But here she is again a hayseed girl with a big nose in the sun. The dog's eyes are closed to slits, meaning that he is happy with the cuddle or that there are summer insects in front of his face. That is just about exactly the way a young desperado would squat, knee up, rifle casual in his arms, some kind of history making like a camera. Aw, Billy, tarnashun but I got a hankerin to git me some of them greenbacks comin up the trail from the Coast. Sunlight has hardly ever been so clearly a constituent of photography. Forever it makes a bush into a ballerina's leg in its escape from focus. It disappears for a moment as the shadow of a straw perches on a mescalero's forehead. Now you know of course that this is a Thirties snapshot of a person who became an intellectual, and you wonder whether that has anything to do with the big square man's watch on her wrist below the Labrador's snout. You lucky dog.


George Bowering's works copyright © to the author.


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