Leonard would have missed the jack rabbit completely if it hadn’t turned to run. The brown landscape stretching from Highway 90 south to the Chinati range had hid the jack well, but a fearful nature had exposed his cream colored legs to Leonard’s pick-up.
Leonard watched him dart back and forth. He wondered if that jack had any idea where he was going.
Leonard’s concentration was broken and he lost the animal in the scrub when Francisca’s cinnamon hard candies fell from her hand, one by one, onto the floor board. She had been awake a moment before, singing that when her “body was laid to rest, she would go the place that’s the best.”
It would be an hour before they reached the interstate, and three more hours after that to get home to Las Cruces. Normally when they visited her mother’s grave they drove straight, no matter the time, but he felt tired tonight. Van Horn would be as far as he would go today.
This was the first year that his daughter understood where they were, who was laid there, and Leonard was quietly angry she didn’t seem to care. And now singing about the after-life. He was confused. He was tired.
Francisca snored slightly, surely at peace in the arms of God as she knew it. Leonard’s God was, he hoped, still sprinting in the fading light, towards something in the shadow of Sierra Parda.
Travis Cravey is a mechanic in Southeastern Pennsylvania.