This poem came from the March 5, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from janetmiles and chordatesrock. It has been sponsored by Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the series An Army of One: The Autistic Secession in Space.
The Minotaur finds the Cowboy
very, very annoying.
The Cowboy loves
western poetry and country music,
hates odes and classical music.
He prefers tall tales to mythology
and he won't shut up.
The Minotaur grinds his teeth
and suffers in silence.
He likes silence.
It is good company
(unlike some people whose names begin with C,
and wouldn't it be nice to shove them
over the brink of lightspeed and out of sight).
The Cowboy is not moving in
to Sargasso Base,
not really -- he is just here
to pick out a new home.
The Orion army shot up his base
and he barely escaped with his life,
according to the elaborate tale he tells.
The Minotaur secretly believes
that the Cowboy is full of
a kind of bull that has
nothing to do with
labyrinths or livestock.
The Cowboy waxes poetic
(and he is certainly no Homer)
about his home on the range
before he moved into space
and how herding comets and asteroids
is a little bit like herding cattle.
The Minotaur dimly remembers
his own childhood amid rolling pastures
and the placid gaze of black-and-white cows
before they moved to the cityplex
and then, too, into space.
The Orion Arm never felt as much like home,
though, as Sargasso Base in the Lacuna now.
The Cowboy deserves a place to live,
as everyone does, and it is not
anyone's fault that the Minotaur
has the only supply of spare habitats
or that the two of them are incompatible.
The Minotaur understands this; he knows
they will just have to get along as best they can
because splintering into smaller and smaller groups
would do nobody any good.
The Cowboy takes his time
picking out a derelict ship
that will still hold atmosphere.
Its engines are not good enough
to move it outside the system,
but with a little help,
can shift it to a different position.
The Minotaur is downright eager
to help his roommate move.
Lagrange Point 4 provides a secure place
for the reclaimed ship to settle.
The Cowboy declares this a fine homestead
and puts the word out for neighborly folks
who might like to share a back fence.
The Minotaur shrugs off the incident
and returns to his solitude.
Sargasso Base is quiet now,
familiar and homelike.
The Cowboy is not so bad
when he is not underfoot,
the Minotaur discovers later.
They have their own bandwidths
and no longer need to share --
but sometimes, the Minotaur tunes in
to the sound of a lone harmonica
wheezing its way through the starry night.