Liver Chestnut, Flaxen Mane and Tail, Two White Socks, and a Pretty Body
Terry had the uncanny ability
to pick open locked stall doors
and hunt out the grain bin.
She was a Morgan, and versatile:
jumping, dressage, Western pleasure,
trail horse, show horse—I even
learned to stand up on her butt
while she cantered gently in circles
on the lunge line.
I slept in her stall,
read books under her hooves;
caught two foals as they slid from her body.
I was, at that time, a puncher of animals.
A hitter, a kicker, a girl violent
Walking the summer pasture,
Terry trailing behind in a new blue halter,
thick lead rope heavy in my hands;
my mare—true to her piggish disposition—
stalled out, reached down,
yanked up a last mouthful of grass.
Thoughtless rage jerked her head up, swung
the bitter end of the rope hard
into her left eye.
stood trembling and blinking,
my beautiful horse.
I reached out to her.
She bowed her neck,
accepted my soft traitor hand.
I would like to say
I never hit an animal again,
but I did and it took
years to walk out
of that pasture,
put down the rope.