Saturday, June 13, 2009

Zavala County

I rode this morning in parched marrow, sun chewed Zavala County. When I was a smaller boy, my father told me lies about how the roads would bend on their own, confounding travelers and generally upsetting anyone who had to get somewhere. But as the sky faded from earthly blue to a Texas faded denim I realized that a really good liar tells the truth sometimes. These roads had to come from somewhere else. There was nothing around, nobody around. Everyone had left long ago, chased off, burned off. But they left their roads twisting in the heat, the asphalt melting and writhing into new directions. The roads adopted new mile markers, choosing totem chimneys, forgotten sentries standing as monuments to homes and to hope. Ronin cattle migrating from a copse of shade to the the fence line where trees cradle the strung barbed wire like the nock of an arrow, branches growing up on either side, rebels and yanks, Montagues and Capulets, limbs from the same root structure, threaded narrowly, with geometric precision.