The dark haired boy, Relles, bare footed and tired takes the reins of the mare and throws his leg over with a kick. He’s been waiting for hours to ride out onto the llano. He can’t help but smile and then giggle as the mount kicks and strides away from the boy’s Jefe and the fieldwork. The Jefe told the boy the horse needed rest and grain and so the boy bit his lip and clipped onions until twilight. And after a day’s work the boy’s energy rivals the horse’s and the boy lurches with each powerful jump nearly uncontrollably for hundreds of yards. After weeks of side jobs it is the first time the boy has ventured onto the silent llano. When he finally checks back with the Jefe the old man wipes at his forehead and at the back of his neck. His face is small and worrisome. And the boys face glows with love and wonder for the horse and the yards paced ahead.
Published by john paul jaramillo
John Paul Jaramillo’s debut story collection The House of Order was named a 2013 Int’l Latino Book Award Finalist, and his most recent work Little Mocos is now available from Twelve Winters Press. In 2013 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature listed Jaramillo as one of its Top 10 New Latino Authors to Watch and Read. He is currently a professor of composition and literature at Lincoln Land College-Springfield, Illinois. View all posts by john paul jaramillo