Beneath a Lover’s Moon
     It was a bright clear night, a night of the full moon; the stars so close you could almost reach out and touch them. There is no sky like the open skies of the mountains he thought, no air as clean, and no call as strong. As the old cowboy lay back for the night, his mind wandered back over the twisted trail. It had been over eighteen months, and four thousand miles since he had left Texas on his quest for his impossible dream. All the many miles, lonely nights and hardships of the trail were beginning to weigh on him.

     He carefully built himself a smoke, and gazing at the star filled sky as he lay there on his roll, he allowed his mind to reach out across the miles and time. After almost thirty years, her vision was just as bold and crisp in his mind as it was that last day standing before the Grange Hall, when her father told him a cowboy would never be allowed to see his daughter again.

     Almost as if he were there this moment, he could see her beautiful face; his mind recalling the stolen moments, the rides on the prairie. Nights like this with a Lover’s Moon. He would saddle the paint she loved so well and they would meet in the draw behind her fathers homestead, and then they would ride the night away. Her vision was so strong he could feel his arms around her waist, smell the fresh washed fragrance of her hair, and taste the gentle kiss of her lips.

     Yes tomorrow he would set out toward the north, he would follow the western foothills of the Sierra until he reached Mount Shasta, then cut across the valley into the Coastal Range. From that point he would trail north across Oregon and into Washington. He could hear the half-wolf bitches out in the darkness, it would not be long before they would be leaving old cowboy and his dog, and he had noted that both were now about ready to whelp. Their lives would go on in this California country, but cowboy’s lay somewhere ahead…

~ © 2003/2010 David L. Griffith ~

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