Weekly Photo & Poem Challenge: Spare

WM donk 1

She’s a spare donkey, no longer of
use since the cattle were sold, since the
rancher moved to town. She’s uprooted,
landed in rescue, not eating but not dying,
she has come here to make up her mind.

My farm has a spare pen for a decrepit
long-ear. She’s brittle as ice but I have
more issues about my own age than she
does hers. Those eyes are nearly worn
out and her gray coat has felted to steel

wool. She has string halt, lifting her stilted
hind hooves too high each step. It’s been a
a spare life with few luxuries, not that she
minds. Prairie old. Prairie tough. She
nibbles alfalfa mush a few times a day,

there’s some roundness now, she’s gaining
a belly. We’ve got food to spare, she doesn’t
eat much. She’s opinionated, hates dogs, will
kick at anything within range. Her bray more
like a roar, deep and full enough to be heard

above the howl of predators. Maybe they’ve
spared her because she’s no longer a threat; the
prairie would be less without her. When I walk
her to the lawn, she slowly rubs her nose back
and forth, bruising the grass to a finer smell,

sweet even though her teeth are beyond grazing.
Lifting her ears, she hobbles back to the dry lot
gate, content to assume her position at the edge
of the herd, tilting her head slightly to benefit
from the venerable warmth of the morning sun.

Anna Blake, Infinity Farm.

(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. My photos are taken with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high tech.)


This blog is free, and it always will be. Free to read, but also free of ads because I turn away sponsorships and pay to keep ads off my site. I like to read a clean page and think you do too. If you appreciate the work I do, or if your horse does, consider making a donation.

Anna Blake

0 thoughts on “Weekly Photo & Poem Challenge: Spare”

  1. “Yes, there will be a parting in our future…” The best I can say about this is: but that parting is NOT today. So smiles for you and all who you hold dear.

  2. This is the furthest motivation to evoke pity…it evokes reverence.
    Thank you to you and the beings who you inspire.

    Anna, the synchronicity is not lost on me as I have just recently and out of the blue had a very unexpected experience of cultivating a communion of souls with a mini donkey…right at the time of an unexpected heartbreak of losing a herd member. Not just a herd member but a Master Teacher who unexpectedly dropped his beautiful black horse form. I wonder if I can email you privately and talk donkey for a bit?

    much love and reverence,

  3. just realized that the “thank you to you and the beings you inspire” is a bit ambiguous in its subject and object – Perfect!

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  5. I see you always find something to spare – and that’s what makes you more than enough as a person, as a caretaker, as a seeker of kindred souls…and then one appears.

    • Thank you, Sheila. But she’s got heart to spare. 🙂 Kind of quietly irresistible. And she hasn’t tried to kick me this week.

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