His daddy died in March. Spring in Eastern Colorado isn’t the dainty season featured on picture postcards. It is a season of wet snow and mud that threatens to pull the overshoes off of tired feet and the tires off trucks. The water and wind suck the life out of calves and it becomes obvious to folks why there are abandoned homesteads out here.

            I heard the truck in front of the house and saw the awkward silhouette of a round bale perched on the flat bed. I was still in my clothes from the funeral, barefoot on the kitchen floor. I walked to the window again and still he was parked. He looked at me and motioned for me to come to him.

            The insides of my coveys were cold on my bare legs, but I jerked the straps over my shoulders, shoved my bare feet into boots and walked to the truck.

            Neither of us said anything and the heater in the truck burned my eyes. He put the truck in gear, and we rolled out toward the winter pastures above Bijou Creek. We drove to where the heavies lay in wait of their calves and where a few pairs were hunkered down against the wind.

            I opened gates and he drove. He parked the truck on a gulch overlooking the home place and the engine purred and the wind rocked the cab.

            “I never thought he would get old,” he said finally.

            “I know,” I murmured. “I’m sorry.”

            We sat in silence watching the snow and mud-caked fields dotted with black cattle and water tanks. He sighed and put the truck in gear again and we rolled back toward the house and took up life where we had left off.

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