Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 53

about fifteen yards clinging to hair and horn, bouncing on the saddle, until the path and the horse turned sharply to enter a hay field. The move was sudden and irresistible.

It threw John off his connection to the earth. His glide path arced through my mind, the dumb little kid, outlining the limits of human flesh, how it has to yield to the hard, bare truth of pain. John thudded down and rolled through the remnants of a coal pile.

Gene and Tom laughed as we ran to him. I was ashamed because I hadn't stopped him from riding like that, and I worried that he was badly hurt. I repeatedly said, ‘You okay? You okay?’

The horse was calmly cropping grass by the gate.

And John? He lay there glaring at me, crying, a little cut, blackened and bruised. ‘I could have done it! I would have done it if you hadn't scared him.’

In a few days he quit blaming me, but he never ceased asserting that he was a man.