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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 3, September 2014

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Jeff Streeby
Morley, Michigan, USA


Winter Range

(for Debra)

This is that nice red horse of Crystal’s, isn’t it? Just back from a work on the ridge, it looks like. He’s fit and legged-up tough in this one, just tired and a little droopy and running sweat. And you. Nobody can tell yet you’re starting to run down. The vest nearly fits and the narrow-hipped jeans, but you know how this will end up—both shoulders about to give out altogether, the wrecked knee.

Moonrise—
first ice in the river bend.
What we witness is ours for good.

Nobody announced it but look around—it’s winter already. Now the cold has settled in, you can’t help but notice, much to your dissatisfaction, how you’ve grown stiff and had to slow down.

Winter storm—
the hours ahead
one long, narrow cage of aggravation.

Well, you better “Suck it up, Cupcake,” as your friend would say. “You ain’t here just for decoration.”Winter is itself a fine season. You’ll find out, if you look, all your well-practiced impulses, all your intricate implements of purpose are up and running, and out there in the corral stands a nice trigueño filly and she’s pretty as any picture. Come next spring, she’ll need work. She’ll be fat and snuffy and she’ll saddle plenty fresh. She will be damn sure to give you trouble. You know with all the tricks up your sleeve, by fall you could have her finished and spinning on a dime.

Winter range—
the polished instruments of experience
brought to bear.

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