Photo & Poem: Her Place

A stick pony to start, with a wooden head and twine
for a mane. The tiny girl stomped unevenly, imagining
hooves at the end of her pudgy legs, her mother’s back
turned, hurrying dinner for the men. Later a spring horse

that the girl could climb on all by herself, jumping hard
up-and-down, the toy’s frame slammed and bounced
across the room, until her mother pulled her off with a
shrill scolding, worried for the linoleum. In time, the girl

went outside, found her way to soft-eyed horses who
accepted her awkwardness with grace. Each night the girl
begged off after dinner. Her mother had grown too tired
to resist. Left standing at the sink doing dishes, she worried

the girl would never learn her place. Resenting the gray mare,
shaking her head at the selfish girl riding past the kitchen
window, she watched the distance between them grow and
she worried that the girl had learned nothing from her at all.

Anna Blake for Relaxed & Forward

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29 thoughts on “Photo & Poem: Her Place”

  1. Perhaps the girl had learned from her Mother exactly where she did not want to find herself someday. Perhaps she learned from her Mother to follow her heart instead. Valuable lessons learned from a Mother she loved for giving her the freedom to find out for herself.

  2. THIS IS SOOOO MEEEE… except that I wasn’t allowed to have anything but model horses and books (which were taken away when I “talked horse” too much). I’m sure my parents thought I learned nothing from them. That line made me laugh!!!

  3. and yet, we did. with words such as these, they will. and gray mares around the world will rejoice. as do I when I read your prose. <3

  4. The distance between mothers and daughters. Likely we would have never become our true selves if we had failed to disappoint our forebears in one way or another. And I would like to believe it has nothing to do with love.

  5. Daughters who fail to live up to their mother’s expectations may find it in the accolades of others. Comforting, but still…

  6. I so resonate with your words here. Wonderful poem. Thank you from another woman who never quite learned her place, thank goodness !

  7. “You can do anything you want in your life and I will help if I can and support you regardless of how I feel about your choices,” my mother told me.
    I believed her and she really meant it.

  8. I have always loved horses. Collected plastic toy horses, some porceline ones, read tons of horse books and stories, and we would drive to a resort in the mountains of Puerto Rico so I could ride a horse on my birthdays, but I didn’t know how much my parents noticed until my Dad came home one day with a horse for me when I was 16. No facilities, no equipment, no knowledge. Capitán basically had the run of our neighborhood in the foothills outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, we left the island a year later and he went to my friend. At 23, my first husband and I bought 2 horses and rode off into the Colorado mountains. The trip was short, the adventure long, but horse fever was strong. My 2nd husband bought me a horse at 40 and the rest is history. Over the next 30 years, we have had as many as 6, now down to 4, and I am defined by my trail horse lifestyle. No one else in my known family has this addiction as I do, Hungarian Cossack genes, maybe?

  9. Oh Anna, reading this I heard my mother’s condescending voice say, “I always knew you’d get a horse!” (I did a thing….)

    • Good for you, Patti! My parents did everything they could to DIScourage me and have always been very disapproving. So I just don’t share that part of my life with my family. Make horse family like here!


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