Thursday, April 12, 2012

Liberty Lady

Not always.  Not every time, rarely.  Sometimes I can put it into words.  Sometimes the new.  Sometimes fragment and unsure.  When awkward.  When almost vowing not to.

Then silent spoken fingers green trembled in the breeze I see pass through the light green leaves of a tree being born again and the caress, cooler than water, speaks to the ten year old girl in my heart, the one the 38 year old woman has been suppressing, the one who dances as if her blood were made of wine or the one who remembers the flat rock where she could sit on the mesa looking down into the valley, the grass the horses hadn't found yet an ocean, and she watched the hawks for hours drinking wind and lifting bones above their weight and age.

If there hadn't been a dirt road, twin scarred, by which she could lower herself into the valley, then she would have found a way despite it into that green sweeping world all full of popping grasshoppers and the thin emerald whisper, regenerate and swaying, of the native Colorado grasses that would feed the horses below, some we owned and some we never would.  Some that would dive chest first into the sharp-tongued barbed wire, chased by the white reins of lightening.  By the time she healed, the yellow puss and bandages mixed in the fine silt under hooves that needed trimming, by then she would be too old to break and too scarred to trust us completely, we, the barbed-wire ghosts that haunted and crushed, full-bodied and brash, the velvet purple world of the alfalfa that grew moonward.

That apple tree is bone white bone now.  Those starved horses gnawed away the vein and skin, the last wet thing left there on the dry mesa that suffered after the man who remembered to irrigate had died.  I miss him and I miss that mesa and I miss that girl who was still so smart and weird and brave and quiet.

Her name was Liberty Lady, an appaloosa, the daughter of Liberty Bell, her prize-winning mother.  My thinking of them tonight: this is the act that lifts them almost free again, running ringing, white-eyed scared and free again into a memory as threatening, as liberating as a storm you'd see spilling its gray curtain in the distance and you knew you still had 20, 30 minutes until you'd have to go in again, before the thought of it met the real thing and chased us all dark and inexperienced into the cutting fences we'd built to keep us away from ourselves.

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