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About Kimberly Roe




After Being Called Girlie at the Hardware Store

I like to think of myself as a woman
who carries a knife
drives a dark one ton diesel
scrappy stock dogs on the seat
beside me. My bite cuts
sharp and quick,
like a machete.

With my eyes I knock
beer belly bullies off their
bar stools. Horses who kick
fall over backwards
when I give them that look.

I never say a word.

When I enter a room
all eyes are on me.
Not because of beauty
or grace but

All by myself I build
brick walls and barbed
wire fences that surround me.

No trespassing allowed.

And when I see
young bulls heavy
with muscles and hormones
I know their weakness.
I know how to bring them down.

© 2012, Kimberly Roe
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.

Kimberly Roe comments
, "This poem came out of an encounter with a bully, who did indeed call me "girlie' (a woman in her forties at the time), and it refers to that wish many of us have after a confrontation that we could have behaved differently, or had the perfect stinging retort to back someone off. I tend, like many women, to let myself get pushed around and bullied by certain types, and can be a real wimp out in 'society," even though I spend my days working with uncivilized horses."



      About Kimberly Roe
Provided 2012

I was raised in the Sierra foothills of California on a small horse farm where my mother raised working Quarter horses and Arabians.

As a teenager and young woman I worked on the Daly Ranch in the Yokohl Valley, gathering and herding cattle every spring and fall when they moved their herd out of the valley heat, up to lush mountain pastures in the spring and then back to the gentle lower slopes in the fall. In summer I worked for the D&F pack station in the Sierra National Forest. I used to leave for the mountains the day after school let out, my horse in tow, and would return the day before it started again the next Labor Day.

In my 20's I moved to western Washington, drawn mostly by the abundant water, but also to attend Western Washington University in Bellingham. I eventually settled outside of Bellingham in a small, very green valley near Deming, where I train horses and riders and write as often as possible. I still think of my days on the Daly ranch, and at the D&F as some of the best of my life, remembering those who influenced me and taught me about taking care of livestock, the land, my friends and family, and myself—in that order. My boss at the D&F, and the long-time owner, Floyd Fike, used to insist that everyone carry a knife at all times, and we would receive a tongue-lashing if he caught us without one, a habit that I have, unfortunately, not always kept. The first line of this poem pays homage to Floyd.



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