|An arroyo - near the town of Arroyo, TX|
(small steep-sided gulch with a flat floor usually dry except after heavy rains)
Before Farm and Market Streets
dotted a small, vanishing town,
Mexican shepherds picked their way
along the red creek bed
meandering its way toward Mother Lagoon,
around yuca, prickly pear
and a few stunted oak trees, twisted.
Horses, thin but tough, kept their distance,
as did whitetail deer and bobcats.
Heat of day survived with wide-brim hat,
long sleeves, and a faithful mongrel of a dog
helping gather sheep, goat, and a cow.
Is screaming across the arroyo still heard,
still done to try and escape poverty
or launch one's dreams across a dry gully,
(or forceful torrent when tropical storms descend)?
Do dreams catch a ride astride wings
of the peregrine falcon, pelican, and crane?
Soar for a bit, cooled and encouraged
as they hover above Saltillo Flats?
Do they reunite with Karankawa and Coahuiltecan,
hopes turned toward ocean's horizon,
share in the mystery of a land that challenges,
strengthens, or destroys?
by Margaret Bednar, December 10, 2019
This is linked with "dVerse Poets Pub - Prosery #7: Jim Harrison" (must use the line "A cow is screaming across the arroyo." Flash Fiction - 144 words or less)
AHHH I see the above is not Flash Fiction - so I will attempt below to write a scene or character within this setting - I NEED TO LEARN to carefully read directions.
My exactly 144 words (excluding the title):
A Mother's Heart (El corazon de una madre)
Miguel had a lot to live up to, for his name meant "Who is like God" a fact his mother never let him forget, her high hopes for him evident in her eyes, her smile.
Miguel patted his dog's head, dust swirling about them as they skirted the yuca, prickly pear, and a few twisted oak trees. The arroyo was barren today, like most days. No torrent responding to seasonal tropical storms; the violence always excited him, as he stood safely back with his herd of sheep, goat, and a cow.
"Is screaming across the arroyo O.K.?" he once asked his Mother. She paused, and in her soft voice that was like a caress across his cheek said, "As long as it launches dreams, lets them ride astride the Peregrine, refreshed and encouraged as they hover above the Saltillo Flats, reunited with spirits of the Karankawa and Coahuiltecan, sharing in the mystery of this land that challenges and strengthens."