A Ranch Bordering the Salty River

North of Oxford

549Page_Stephen_COVA Ranch Bordering the Salty River

By Stephen Page

Finishing Line Press 2016 

Review by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

 A Ranch Bordering the Salty River is a character-driven poetic narrative filled with suspense; cruelty; love of “Mate,” aging Teresa, and adoptive grandchildren; and nature that surrounds cattle ranching and ranch workers/cowboys (gauchos) alike.   There are heroes, including Jonathan the narrator and “The Horseback Vet,” juxtaposed with villains of all sorts, which one is likely to encounter on (Santa Ana and La Limpieza) ranches (estancias) in this realm.  At the “Tree root” Jonathan (a man of many occupations – “I Was a Soldier”) longs not to be the new driven-by- profit rancher, which his “business partner” urges: “to plow away more of my grass, shot the quail, trap the armadillos, flit away the mockingbird, spray to death the flowers, plant genetically modified soy, sterilize my herd to nothing.” But rather, he…

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