She came to when the rain hit her face. The loud thunder cracked above jolting her back to life. She could taste blood and her tongue went to the chipped corner of front tooth. She coughed and sucked for air. She caught movement from the corner of the barnyard where that damn buckskin stood sprawled and wide eyed with one side of the bristly horse hair mecate swinging. Bastard. She cussed the horse and cussed herself more. She’d hit the ground hard.

And somewhere in the echo of the alley of the old barn, she felt the presence of her grandad, long since passed, swore she could see him lighting his roll your own, one leg crossed over the other, and saying to her, “You’re gonna ruin a good horse getting off that way.” She missed that old Pops of hers.

The rain started coming down with more force. She pulled herself to her knees, sucked another breath of air back into her burning lungs, and wiped the mud and dirt from hands, backside and face.

She watched lighting light up the dark clouds. Timing in life felt a little off and out of sorts lately. She reached a quiet hand out to the snorty colt, talked quietly and reassuringly to him, spun his head around to her knee, gathered the rein and a hunk of black mane, and swung back on. She eased him back out to go gather the rest of the herd spread across the green bunch grass meadow.

Life served her best this way… uncertain, edgy, a little bloody, a little broken, and tough. And she didn’t want to change one damn thing about it. So, she nudged the buckskin on into an easy lope while the rain showered down and the storm raged above.

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