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: 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: Braced

  Black eyes sunk deep in her skull, certain she knows what will come next. The trail of scars on her legs read like an ancient cave painting of where she’s been and what has followed her here, her ribs braced against inescapable shadows, her breath shallow in fear she might become visible. With no … Read more

Photo & Poem: Goodnight

  Leaning on the gate. Checking water tanks at dusk, one last glance at the herd before heading in. I feel his eyes soft on me, from the far side of the pen, his muzzle deep in hay. Awestruck, my involuntary response to his beauty. Under my breath, I barely murmur the tall gray’s name … Read more

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: 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