It’s that kind of day where the sky
is a pitch perfect blue, and sunlight
just strolls in through open barn doors,
revealing dust motes floating here
and there, around us.

Her coat is fuzzy now
because it’s getting cold, and I
like the way her ears feel. Soft.
“Don’t touch them,” I’m told.
Sometimes when no one can see,
I’ll cup one in my hand.
She doesn’t seem to mind.

I just brush and pet while you fetch the saddle.
You can get her to nicker,
but she only stares at me, so I keep
running my hand across her neck and body,
and I bury my fingers in her thick, dark mane.
It is a powerful beauty to stand beside her,
hear her breathing, feel her muscles moving.


“Horses have two names,” you tell me,
placing a kiss on her nose.
I ask about her second name, her show name,
as you deftly handle so many straps and buckles,
saddling up.

That bold midday sun
pokes through barn windows, slats, and doors.
You answer,

“Empress Jennifer,” and hug Tecca around the neck,
beaming at me; a girl and her horse.

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