kinda like that image that plays over and over in my head like a dusty silent film. there's a guy in a cowboy hat, and he's swinging a lasso at an angry goat. the goat is after my sister. she is crying as she runs. all this on a background of yellow schoolbuses and dirt. for at least seven years i was sure it was a dream.
and then, when i was about ten, i found out via family conversation that it really did happen. i was three and cass was five or six and caleb was about negative two, and we were hanging out with connie and jonathan and feeding some farm animals in a dusty fenced-off area next to the school bus parking lot. that's when the goat decided to head-butt my sister for either fun or her chunk of bread or both, and that's when connie and i decided to cross the road on our own, and that's when my mom was stuck in deciding who to save. that's also when she was spared having to make that decision by the guy with the lasso. don't know where he came from. but he wasn't imaginary.
and my ten-year-old self said, "well, well. i'm not crazy."