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

Photo & Poem: Sentient

  Long in the tooth, people say. Gray hairs dusting his temple, this gelding plays the part of good uncle, passers-by tickle his nose to show their familiarity, unaware of of the memory that kind of touch brings this stoic gelding who remembers too far back, too sad a time. Past his prime, people say. … Read more

Photo & Poem: Faraway Friends

  I would show you the adolescent Canada geese on the pond. Better behaved than we ever would have been, they stay close, like Catholic school girls in prim uniforms between their parents in church. We would give them names like Cecelia and Mary Margaret and Bridget, us standing by the donkey, scratching his ears … Read more

Photo & Poem: Dwindling Light

  His swayed back so warm in the late afternoon but he doesn’t lie down. His shoulders bear his weight without rest. When predators come, he can’t be helpless to run, not that his buckled knees could carry him far. He ambles in for his dinner alfalfa, belly soft, and while the other horses tuck … Read more

Photo & Poem: Hand

  One draws attention, standing by a tolerant gelding and playing the horse whisperer, tickling withers, teasing his whiskery muzzle. Passive violence in the guise of a scratch, demanding an involuntary response ripped with conflict, pulsing with agitation. One demands sweaty perfection, the mare never exactly good enough, but rewarded at last, one ringing slap, … Read more

Photo & Poem: Home Farm

Skeletal power poles from the wind turbines out east litter the view of the mountains, splintering the sunset. New construction treads closer, tract homes and fast food. This farm was never announced by miles of white vinyl fencing, just a mailbox at the end of the driveway. There are mismatched fence panels, some white, some … Read more

Photo & Poem: Missing Her

  Haunted by her hooves, jagged edges tilting her balance, she stood in filth, wooden pallets cobbled into a pen. Remembering her coarse hair, the shadows cast by each rib. No act of blunt cruelty did this, it was willful indifference one average day after another. Looking at her, an ache grows behind my eye … Read more