A Cowgirl

I encountered a young Colorado woman, once,
from a distance. Our trails crossed in our personal badlands.

A beauty, she had the raw fire of a mustang.
I caught her at a terrible time in her life.
Or should I say, she caught me.

Her marriage was coming apart,
her husband having lost interest and sunk into cruelty and betrayals.

We never met, except
as passing
electronic ghosts. She writhed and wrote of her pain,
her bruised pride and injured beauty.
She touched us with her anger and anguish,
her soul’s search for beauty nonetheless,
In that state she painted lurid images of
what she would do with me,
to me, what she wanted from me,
pinned against a wall, legs apart,
full of anger, fury, revenge.

She meant none of it.
It was just the demons screaming.
She was lost to herself
by a love betrayed,
sacred promises broken.
It drove her insane, for a time,
and she almost thought that was her truth.

But in time, those garish images
and fantasies faded, as nightmares
fade when the fever breaks.

I hadn’t thought of her for a couple of years.
Then she came to mind.
I found an old email address and asked:
“How are you doing?”

My heart lept with her reply a day later.
She’s working in a small church in Nebraska,
making a difference, touching lives.
Her children are almost flown, and
are growing into good people.
I still sense a whisper of sadness around the
edges, but who among us doesn’t know that feeling?
Life takes more than our youth,
and we live with the aftermath,
making sense of it as we can,
hoping to make a difference,
grateful when the nightmares fade.

Go get ’em, cowgirl.

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