The old woman sat precariously on an over-turned bucket,
sharing stories of her youth,
a golden-haired girl proudly astride,
a trick horse she had trained herself,
head and flag held high,
real silver screen hero in tow.
Eighty five years of life and the living of it,
weighed heavily on her worn frame,
while eyes, still bright, in a face lined with memories and tears,
watched proudly over mama goats,
in the musty darkness of pens piled too high with old manure and bedding,
finding comfort in the vigor of new life suckling at warm udders and flanks.
Near the patchwork planks of an aging barn and ragged, weedy pasture,
a small, white heifer danced with others,
not really of her own kind,
a sheep, a goat, a large, woolly ram.,
a menagerie of creatures left over from a more dynamic past,
a legacy of blood and bone, heart and circumstance.
The old woman had cared for them all,
such a very long while now,
she could no longer trim hooves,
carry heavy bales and buckets,
sort out the unwanted young stock,
or remember the old bulls exact age.
Heart-broken, she had loved too long and deep,
giving herself, her soul,
to a fickle man who had left her,
with empty grain sacks and tired hands
for others more beautiful,
and much less wise.
Seven children and a proliferation of grandchildren,
gave purpose however,
the warmth of her own life,
flowing on in the essence and veins,
breath and pulse,
of intertwining generations,
and the unborn spirits of those still to come.