Miss American Sky
This year, a 27-year-old waitress from the Bronx shows up to compete for the title of Miss American Sky. The officials tell her it will not be easy, but she stays. She goes up against the southern sky. She vies with the Aurora Borealis and a storm in the desert. When the waitress presents herself, the judges have to squint because she’s tiny. Still. They take the time. Skies are astute. They spend eternity looking down at us. When the judges study her, they can tell, two rivers of tears have poured from her eyes. They agree. Hardship has made her kind, so they ask one of their assistants to put a tiara on her head. Then they give her a hug of rain.
Chad Hanson serves as the Executive Director of the Wyoming Mustang Institute: wyomustangs.org. When he isn’t wandering the prairie, making photos of the last remaining bands of wild horses in the West, he teaches courses in sociology and religion at Casper College. For more information about his poetry, nonfiction, and activism, visit: chadhanson.org.