Girlish sightings of a young man on horseback by the river, his lean body bent over the horse's mane, as the beast trod water, its hooves splashing, the sun casting shadows on the rider's face.
On the day I realized I was no longer a girl, you were dropping by the house for one stupid reason or another and we spent some time staring at each other.
That Christmas Eve I saw you with long firearms swung around your shoulders, and Pa, in his usual bad temper, berating you, I huddled in a corner, frozen; but you did not turn to fight.
Then, three long decades of not knowing where you were; wondering whether you were dead or alive, and not finding anyone to ask.
When suddenly, one day, someone told me you were around, I fumbled for something in my pocket. I thought getting a glimpse of your face was an extreme act of courage, a sufficient gratification by itself; and so, I forced a man to drive right to your doorstep just to get a glimpse of you. I was not prepared for what was to follow and that was how I lost you.