The vaquilla charges the picador, bravely,
receiving her wound, then returning for more.

Braveness in the stance, the head erect,
eyes open, watching the teenage torero,
suit of lights sparkling, sequined sequences,
feet dancing, cape held low, the vaquilla
on train tracks, gliding past.

¡Olé! ¡Olé!

The vaquilla charges at shadows,
plays her role in this meta-
theatre of cape and sword.
But it’s only make believe.
The vaquilla pauses at centre stage,
flanks heaving heavily, baffled, mocked.


The farmer leaps the barricade, grabs her tail,
tugs her to the ground, stands on her neck,
and shears her horns.
The maiden, mocked and marked,
escapes through the gate:
the scent of the fresh blood flowing
arouses the waiting herd.

¡Olé! ¡Olé!

4 thoughts on “¡Olé!

    • It comes from the selection of the novillos (young bulls) on the Spanish bull farms. It is all computerized now. They also test the cows to see if they are worth breeding for fighting bulls. It is fascinating to watch what is done, and how.


  1. The maiden, mocked and marked…
    When we lived out in the country, we had a turkey hen become injured after flying into fencing. The flock, sensing her hurt, turned on her and tore into her. We had to kill her on the spot. This reminded me of that sensing-of-the-wounded, raw “animal” instinct. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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