A Reminiscence of Pal
Updated: Feb 11, 2021
I remember Pal, big and slow,
his lowered head as I sat,
my feet, toes pointed down in dusty sneakers,
touching the middle of his belly
long inches from the dangling stirrups.
I rode, trusting in his step
leading the way,
my small hands holding the horn of the saddle,
with the cracked reins
wrapped tightly around it, knotted
in a hard, square knot.
I remember the pendulum swish of his tail
as he slapped the biting flies away,
and the brown and black and white
patchwork flanks swaying side to side
in front of me on the way back
to the cool barn through the pastures
of long green and mustard grasses.
I remember the hush as the brightness
of the summer day gave way to the violet of dusk
and the steady, silver song
of the lead cow’s bell repeated gently
while I poised across Pal’s broad back.
I inhaled the summer scent of earth
and hazy, humid air, the bold, fertile earth,
and touched the rough feel of his blonde mane,
and the ripple of muscle beneath his fading, palomino coat.
I rode the slowness of the moment, blessed,
to rush the procession was to risk the milk,
and the cows knew to move deliberately, unworried,
and the old horse knew oats would wait his return.