We were warned. “There are grave risks to crossing that unforgiving land.”
I set the pace. Our cow, her calf, my daughter, wife, and babe of four months following me. Lips blistered, soles of my feet cracked, I move determinedly toward the border. After thirteen days, we are parched. The calf is emaciated because we’ve squeezed its mother’s teats to near emptiness, claiming her milk as our own. And then, a freak of nature. Torrential rain. Cow and calf tethered to nearby scruff, we huddle as darkness falls. Lightning strikes. The calf slips its noose, rushing headlong into the gully. That rocky dry earth unable to absorb the storm. The cow is screaming across the arroyo as her calf flails and disappears.
We survived that terrible night. Followed that implausible creek and crossed the border: my daughter, wife, and babe of four months.
Posted to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today is Prosery Monday where flash fiction collides with poetry. Linda is hosting and we are to include the line “A cow is screaming across the arroyo” – a line from Jim Harrison’s poem entitled Cow – in our piece of flash fiction that must be 144 words or less, sans title. Photo from Pixabay.com
An arroyo is a deep-sided gully formed by fast-flowing water in an arid or semi-arid region.