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"It Was 1991 And Summer Time In Lincoln, A Small Former Gold Mining Town In The Mountains Of Western Montana With, At The Time, A Population Of Around 900 People Who Rarely Saw Each Other, Separated In Part By The Blackfoot River That Slipped Around Sparsely Positioned Cabins And Where My Grandmother, Who I Was Close To, Lived Alone And Where I Spent Summers Playing In The Woods And Feeling Small In The Shadow Of The Big Mountains That Loomed Over Us. My Grandmother Slept With A Loaded Pistol Under Her Pillow And When Asked About It She Would Say It Was Not For Fear Of The Four-Legged Animals, But The Two-Legged Ones, And I Knew What She Meant Because I Was Beginning To Know Such Things. It Was A Hot Day In August When, Bare Legged And Pink From The Sun, I Had Made The Trek Across The Old Cow Pasture To My Grandmother's Neighbor's House, A Similarly Aged And Alone Woman, Similarly Tough And Hard, With Whom My Grandmother Had Fallen Out Of Friendship Over A Claim To A Share Of A Gold Mine, But Who Had Two Grand Daughters My Age Who I Played With When We Were Each Visiting. Being As The Property Was A Former Cattle Ranch, That Afternoon The Three Of Us Girls Explored The Derelict Bunkhouses Where The Hired Hands Used To Sleep, Small Wooden Squares Somehow Still Smelling Of Old Leather And Sweat. In One Dusty Shack, Suddenly Realizing I Was Alone, I Stepped Outside To Locate My Friends And On Hearing A Sound From The Roof Of The Crumbling Structure I Turned To See A Mountain Lion Perched Atop It, Likely The Very Same Whose Footprints We Had Seen In My Grandmother's Yard Just Days Before. It Was Young But Still Large, Eyes Fixated On Me And Amber-Colored And Somehow Burning The Entire World Away Except For My Heart Beating Thick And Hard In My Ears And Some Ancient Part Of Me Saying 'Do Not Turn Your Back, Do Not Run', And So I Backed Away Slowly, Breathlessly, Out Of Its Sight And Away From It. Away From My Friend Chrissy, Who Was Studying The Blue Of A Flower Amidst The Ruins Of Another Old Bunkhouse, And Away From My Friend Robin Who Was Menstruating For The First Time Near A Fir Tree Over The Hill, And Away From My Grandmother On Her Porch Studying The Hummingbirds And Away From My Grandmother's Former Friend Who Was Secluding Herself In Her Shabby Forest Cabin. Each Of Us, We Were Alone",  acrylic and pencil on panel, 2017, 24x30”

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