Photo & Poem: She Quit

She attended church with joyless obligation, lip-syncing hymns that praised suffering, with dentures that never quite fit, never a genuine smile. A few cigarettes in the station wagon on the way home, then she made Sunday dinner; chicken, mashed potatoes with beige gravy, and army-green beans. There was plenty, but she always chose the back … Read more

Photo & Poem: Second Cup

Second cup of coffee while waiting for light, a second cup while waiting to head out. The horses have thick coats and long hair on their legs. They will still have hay from the late feed, they need nothing. This is their time. Wait. Let them have the night. Boots over heavy socks, the last … Read more

Photo & Poem: Horsewoman

There were always horses, some light and some dark. The woman met them in passing or they stayed forever, some were proud and some stayed hidden deep within. After the gelding stumbled and fell, trapping the woman’s leg, breaking her loose from her fairytale romance, the woman and the horse were set on equal footing. … Read more

Photo & Poem: Letting Him Lead

  You were there the day he was born, all ears and knees. You knew him when his hooves were still soft and his eyes first saw light, but the forever deal was struck long before then. You knew what the colt did not, that it was you who was born for him. The exquisite … Read more

Photo & Poem: Rich

  Our family farm was leased from the man who owned the car dealership in town. Once or twice a year, he came up our driveway in the latest model, looking important wearing pressed trousers and a tie, to drink black coffee with my father. They talked about crop prices on the farm report and … Read more

Photo & Poem: Girl-Cousin

Seems every farm family had one in a generation; a distant misfit girl-cousin who read too much or wore men’s jeans or hated to cook. As soon as she could, she traveled away to Portland to work in a library or to Tucson to be an artist. The family only whispered her name then, kitchen … Read more

Photo & Poem: Waiting for the Vet

  No days like the golden photos on the calendar from the gas company, propane topped off at the first frost as autumn surrendered with no fanfare. Early storms left crusted snow frozen in mud, hoof-print ruts that catch the toe of my boot, stumbling out late to throw extra hay and put eyes on … Read more

Photo & Poem: Holiday Place

  You had a plan for how this would go when you left home. Longing for a thing different than how it was. Maybe a career or a husband. Maybe the perfect sofa because you wanted to rest, blanket around your feet and a tortoise-shell cat like the one when you were a kid, lounging … Read more

Photo & Poem: You Know the Way

  The rhythm of hooves over even soft ground, we’ve lost time out together rocked safe in the saddle like breeze through the trees, toward a bottom-heavy sun falling hard to the west. We’ve wandered too far, dirt-worn and words gone, but still warmed in his stride. Just when I pause, not sure of the … Read more

Photo & Poem: Tea

  Stomping in the back porch to knock the dirt off my boots, there’s too much wind to work outside on this gray day, clouds hurrying in from the north. I make tea thinking you might be having some about now. Mine has little flavor and the color is wrong. Picking up a book, I … Read more