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  • karenweber7

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.

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