Coming Unglued

“How’s the weather up there?”
The wrangler grinned up at her
through tobacco stained teeth,
and hitched his dusty jeans.
The fearful five year old pranced
on his long legs,
as she smiled in return.
The appaloosa was unnerved,
surrounded by a herd
of unfamiliar chestnuts, greys and bays;
they were low to the ground,
stocky, sane and tame.

Leaving the barn, he screamed his fear.
He tried to leave;
he managed to rear.
Ten minutes up the trail
it became clear
his mind was melting.
He tried again to bail,
but nose-to-tail,
he was trapped
between Cowboy and Lil’ Mo.
He dropped his nose,
arched his back,
and jumped like a pogo stick.
He bucked his spotted rump
towards the sky.

His rider landed hard,
back sore, throat dry,
pants pebbled and dusty.
He trotted in fearful circles,
eyes wide and wild.
She winced her way to standing
and calmly called.
He buried his face in her belly
and sighed.


At Alisal Ranch October 2012

Sitting on burgundy cotton cushions
under an umbrella of sycamore leaves
we rest.
The sun drifts behind trees,
sinks toward the ridge,
and clear light fades
in a cloudless sky.
We inherit the evening.

Shadows of childhood dreams visit;
they dance and shift,
shaking and rolling,
their gentle thunder joined
with quiet intent.
I remember the solemn vowed words
of a seven year old
whispered in the dark,
deeper than wish,
clearer than vision.

This is the dream.
Riding with you on a wild gallop;
stopping to watch
a bobcat run;
his tail twitching behind the tree trunk;
while our horses stand
sweating in the morning sun.

This morning;
This evening;
This sun;
This kind of carpe diem.

Prompt: Sunday Wordle

Ode to Black

Wax mustaches, Black Jack gum,
glossy coffee beans, ravens,
poppy seeds and pepper.

Horse’s hooves sinking in sand,
paddock boots, half chaps,
soft supple saddle flaps.

Warmth from a wood stove,
your Stetson hat,
my soft sweater, slinky slacks.

Sharp evening shadows, slurry
on an asphalt road,
tractor tires, iron gates.

The day you lose that special horse.

Mascara mixed with tears.

Offering Severance

She sits on the faded violet chair
opposite me;
one elbow resting
on the round blond laminate wood table.
She leans forward,
feet resting on the worn grey carpet.
My reading glasses
sink into the bones of my nose
as I read from my notes;
relaying the news
with my office door shut.
Her eyes meet mine
— wide, deep set, unblinking,
surrounded by a web of fine lines.
“Huh,” she says and sits back.
An uneasy pause
is filled with the tick-tick
of my desk clock.
A brittle smile forces its way
across her guant face.
She says its okay;
she’s tired
of the freeway traffic;
and the slow creeping crawl
of the company’s demise.

Prompt: Trifecta and dVerse open link night.