Her years on flat open prairie, the
hard-scrap jumble of danger and chance
left only the essentials: skeptical wisdom,
long-ear sensibility, and eyes that watch with
great vigilance from deep under her brow.
She keeps an entrancing distance. Magnetic
in her independence.
This caretaker of a small farm with a strong
back for throwing hay, filling troughs, repairing
fence. I’ll bring a soft mush to her stall but
I’m not willing to make it a bribe. Neither
of us mere beasts of burden, we have each
been both predator and prey. We know
the value of self-reliance.
We live on this land, it sustains our bodies
and our instincts, gives us trust in nature’s
plan going forward, so this old girl needs
no dependence on me. She and I are free
to choose to stay apart or come closer,
as guarded equals owing no debt and
demanding no allegiance.