Photo & Poem: Midsummer

Midsummer, the mare stands square, hooves flat and neck low, her muzzle faced into the corner of a dark stall, her tail as still as the heat. Do not disturb. Hat brim tilted for hot shade, dragging my feet in small circles, searching dusty bins for one more clamp needed to repair a gate. Water … Read more

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 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: Hand-Me-Downs

  Leota would send a note warning that she’d put something in the mail and we waited. She was a distant relative who never visited, but she had girls older than us. Soon a big cardboard box arrived filled with pleated wool skirts and pastel sweaters; good school clothes, all store-bought. Leota’s girls must have … 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: Spine

  He repeats it all again, a little slower and louder each time, enunciating as if she cannot hear. Certain she must be confused. If he explained to her in simpler terms, she would surely acquiesce, change her answer to be compliant to his reason; her lips would soften, docile with relief. Instead, she presents … 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

Photo & Poem: When the Sunset is Through With Me

  The sunset plays me. In the heat of the day, colors are flattened by glare and searchlight bluntness, work taken on, tasks finished. But when the sunset looks at me sideways, flirting through the clouds, changing expression in each instant, I come stumbling out on the porch, fumbling with my glasses, my camera, knowing … Read more