Photo & Poem: Old Dog

A deliberate old dog pacing the yard fence with gray dreadlocks and a stiff stride. A mixed-breed badly constructed, a heavy body on spindly legs, but no longer content to nap. He has worn a path but remains a bit bewildered, not trusting his eyes or ears, his nose intent on the breeze. The distance … Read more

Photo & Poem: As if Love

She declared that she loved her horse as if loving took a sort of noble skill rare to our kind. As if loving a horse was a defiant act that few achieve. Excused from the menial tasks of picking hooves and tending wounds, she claimed an instant of shared breath as the proof of her … Read more

Photo and Poem: Three-Quarter-Ton

  Driving home from the feed store on a back road, easing my foot from the gas pedal, the three-quarter-ton truck coasts slower. Ahead, a teenage girl riding a horse in shorts and a helmet. The tomboy-girl twisted around but dismissed me, only a gray-haired woman in a farm truck. Would she want someone better … Read more

Photo & Poem: Words

“You’re not wearing that, are you?” Voicing her anxiety first, was my blouse revealing something more than unconventional taste? Welcoming me back after a long absence, “I suppose that’s real,” she moaned at my unnatural hair, her frown lingering down to my sandals. She repeated her lifelong fear that people would think I didn’t have … Read more

Photo & Poem: Sunset to Dark

Talking with her while I walk the farm, I say look what you’ve done with the new grass. Earth sends a breeze to finger the dandelion fluff balls, a few seeds released. I wonder if she’s forgotten the elm tree, twigs barren of leaves so late in the spring. The growling sound of the four-wheeler … Read more

Photo & Poem: No Gloves

The woman doesn’t make a good first impression. Her hair is dry as straw under a ball cap from Tractor Supply. Wearing a stiff barn coat and men’s muck boots that make a hollow flap as she walks with a limping rhythm, the full bucket bumping her knee each stride. Her hand is thick, nails … Read more

Edgar Rice Burro on Covid-19 and Physical Distancing (on World Donkey Day)

  Does Covid-19 impact my herd? The email asked, “I wonder if you’ve noticed the quieter world in your horses? Seismologists have been saying for a couple weeks the earth is vibrating less as human activity has been reduced. Air pollution is down in major cities, the water is clear in the Venice canals and … Read more

Photo & Poem: Slap Hands

Sit next to Jack, she said. Mother’s youngest brother on leave from the Army at our kitchen table. He pinched me hello and continued his story, laughing too loud at his own jokes. The center of attention with a can of beer and a full ashtray. Oily-skin handsome, Jack goaded me into the game, his … Read more

It Could Be Worse. You Could Be Married to Me.

“Honey, when you’re in town will you pick something up for me?” I don’t quite wait for the answer. “Great, three bags of quikrete, please. The eighty-pounders.” I was asked to write something for the men who read my blog. Grab your caps, boys, this might get bumpy. For the rest of you, dear readers, … Read more

Photo & Poem: Limbo

  As if struck by lightning, the horse died; a clean and horrible quiet. No diagnosis, no cure, no negotiation. The reluctant but permanent truth that no amount of flapping emotion can change. Held long in the instant of being cleaved in two, stripped bare in the flash of change. Not touching the dry ground … Read more