Journal of Writing & Environment

Some afternoons, you give me sugar

cubes to feed the horses.


I learn to tuck my thumb in

and flatten my hand;


learn the soft lap of long tongues,

and the shape of those ivory teeth,


blank scrabble tiles

which spell their names:


Sparky, Ginger, Dolly, Ruthie.

Eventually, I learn how to slip a bit


in a mare’s mouth, and settle a forelock

over bridle leather.


I learn to saddle a horse

and ride into the orchard


alone. On horseback,

my head brushes the bottoms of clouds.


I canter above the earth,

running with another creature’s legs.


In May, apple blossoms float like notes.

I pluck music from the air


and ride back with bouquets of songs

in the vase of my throat.