La Danza de Vaca Loca

When the vaca loca arrives at the fiesta
In paper mache, hollow bamboo horns
Filled with wrapped gunpowder
Black and white belly extended
Tailed by a bass drum,
A brass wind instrument and a flute
The old woman can not resist
Lifting la vaca loca over her head.

Her tongue clicking inside sunken mouth
Hollow in the cow’s belly
She skips wildly into the night air.
Firecrackers, spit from her horned head,
Flames, grab plumes of pampas grass
Light up the sky
Blinding her in and out of dark shadows
Where she succumbs, kneels under,
Her dance over she is nothing
More than a ghost of the night

The vaca loca, a black and white carcass,
Left on damp grass
Slowly relinquishes her red scarf
Swaying, switching, stretching
The fibers wrap her tightly until
Shrouded, she rests
Out of reach of the crazy cow.

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