Poems from Our Lives
"It was a tough life if you was useless.” -Leafa Numbers Blake
Women have a proud history. My grandmother proudly claimed she had delivered more foals and calves than any woman in early 1900s North Dakota. Like her, we’ve found purpose in building our lives, sometimes elbow deep in dirt and blood, but doing whatever work that needed to be done. Horses have always been our north star.
For many of us, the cowboy persona has never been a good fit. Women have earned a narrative to honor our own lives with horses and the land. We tell a uniquely female account of living and working with horses, coming out of the shadow of cowboy hats and spurs. For us, it was never about fighting for domination. It was always about herd and home.
This poetry collection tells small stories from a women’s perspective about life defined by horses, nature, and memory. Our feelings run deep; this might be your story too.
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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
problem? Not that he would ever
complain. His sunken eyes watering,
thick eyelids half-closed. Maybe he was
mentally retreating, not that he would
ever say no. The gelding stood tall but
the horsewomen knew he wasn’t quite
right. Eyes watering, probably the wind.