Nonfiction | January 05, 2015

On top of one of the mesas at the ranch at sunset while looking out above a valley toward other distant blue mesas, the view is a grandiose background for a Western movie or a chorus singing, “O beautiful for spacious skies. . . .” The chorus would be standing on dry ground.

This ranch I eventually inherited is, by Southwestern measures, a small one spreading over parts of Lampasas and Coryell counties in central Texas. Roughly arrow-shaped, it’s located in the northernmost hill country. From horseback in the spring, the land resembles a large English park until you get down from the saddle and something bites or scratches you.

This essay is not currently available online.

If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.