Photo & Poem: Body Voice

One horse flicks his ear, still grazing, another pauses his jaw, his tail still amid flies. The mare lifts her head, intelligent brow above wide nostrils, while the elder gelding keeps his neck low, courting smells wafting on the breeze. A small movement in the distance, awareness passes through the herd, their breath in shallower … Read more

Photo and Poem: Spring Thaw

  The air hung heavy, strangely moist for a desert prairie. Dense fog as rare as raindrops. The ice on the pond began to sweat; it’s been frozen silent for months but slowly water eased at the shore, the weathered gray ice giving way to a fresh surface to mirror the sky, signaling birds they … Read more

Photo & Poem: Hunger Moon

Fresh snow fell yesterday and more will come tomorrow, but in the still between-time, a full moon sits high in the sky, casting steely shapes on the ground, dimly lit to a haunted gray pallor. Unnatural colors that did scare me as a girl, when my shadow chased me for sport. Turn away from the … 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: 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: 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: Waiting for the Vet

  No days like the golden photos on the calendar from the gas company, propane topped off at the first frost as autumn surrendered with no fanfare. Early storms left crusted snow frozen in mud, hoof-print ruts that catch the toe of my boot, stumbling out late to throw extra hay and put eyes on … Read more

Photo & Poem: You Know the Way

  The rhythm of hooves over even soft ground, we’ve lost time out together rocked safe in the saddle like breeze through the trees, toward a bottom-heavy sun falling hard to the west. We’ve wandered too far, dirt-worn and words gone, but still warmed in his stride. Just when I pause, not sure of the … 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: 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