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.