Tesserae

Seven blue herons, trailing pipestem legs, cast cruciform shadows on an ancient sea bed. Dropping Salem's reins, I let her dabble in a whorl of soaked ditch grass. Leafhoppers pelt my stirrups. Piebald magpies squawk from bleached cattails. Quivering silver, a broken cottonwood cools an island of mourning doves. Like windborne seeds, a gasp of grackles spews from the tangle of blackberries hugging the cutbank. Beyond a single wire a band of sleek broodmares threads through magenta thistles, scratching deep-slung bellies on ragweed, milkweed and rye ... Whiskered muzzles approve us across a strand of rusty barbs. Butter-bright mustard petals stipple the mares' broad backs. With fawn eyes their foals stare from gilded flanks and withers-deep grass, stamping sapling legs at hovering bees.

I gather the reins of my reluctant horse and cross a sundog trapped in a puddle. A stiff wind plows furrows in the clouds and parts the shuddering grasses underhoof - pale blue tesserae, grouted in mud, herald the quiet birth of Chinese pheasants.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...