Photo & Poem: Spotted Horse

  Both horsewomen would remember this moment. A blustering wind, not cold, but bitter. Misty clouds settled the dust. A gelding stood between them, aged beyond the math of his years. Not quite thin but not strong either. Looming with stilted tension as if uncomfortable in ill-fitting clothes. Was it his arthritis? The chronic hoof … Read more

Photo & Poem: Owning Herself

  Save your pity. It means nothing. She’s a big mare, broad chest and straight legs, her coat the color of soil that could grow rose gold, imperial topaz, and chocolate. She talks in all directions at once, not that she cares, with her ears shouting orders and her body dwarfed by her ageless spirit … Read more

Photo & Poem: Payment Due

  No more lingering in the melon-colored dusk, grazing late to the barn. The pasture is finished, even the weeds only skeletons. Overnight, the horses prefer barn-stored hay in the windbreak of a south-facing barn. The light drops fast, blood-splatter leaves in a green hedge. Pried from my hand what I hold dear, instead wrapping … Read more

Photo and Poem: Black Bay

  She was for sale: a black bay Arabian mare and I was looking for a beginner lesson horse. Tacked up when I arrived, I led her to the mounting block, held the reins a bit too tight, poked her with my toe as I stepped into the stirrup and then dragged my leg over … Read more

Photo and Poem: What If?

  There is a crisp apple coolness to the air. Soon there will be frost, I tell the horses, soon the flies will be gone. The northern air makes the herd buck and snort steam, but might as well be blood on the wind for elders bearing heavy mortality, unable to catch the air, joints … Read more

Photo & Poem: Reluctant

  Stay outside until the sun is low, reluctant to let the day end, tidying halters, raking loose hay into stalls, dragging my feet. Not ready. Just that this sweet ordinary day, this warm season, will soon be carried off in the wind, gone to seed. Loosening my grip from what I know will be … Read more

Photo & Poem: A Donkey’s Years

  His bray begins with a shallow panting, as he aligns the end of his nose level with his back, his ears splay flat as the horizon. Then his ribs spread wide, gasping more air in and sounding the long exhale, punctuated by the flexing of his belly muscles for a prodigious honking howl, as … Read more

Photo & Poem: A Cure for Sadness

  Jerk out the fencing staples and carefully pocket them, leave nothing in the dirt. Pull the sagging wire fence free and drag it to open ground. Fold a few feet of the end over, stepping it flat, and make another fold, untidy as a fitted bedsheet from the clothesline. Reset posts as needed, unroll … Read more

Photo & Poem: I Cannot Know

  We became strangers. I thought I knew her so well; that place just back from her ears where her mane flips to the other side. Her slow half-closed eye resting in speckled shade, head low to the flank of a gelding. Her outline in moonlight blue at the night feed, the horse from my … Read more