by Patty Crumrine
July 8, 2014
We were strangers, you and I,
Each brushed onto our own canvas
Under a sun-bleached, far-west sky.
Each of us designed for connections yet untold
And guided by others of our own kind,
Destined to walk together
For a gift to yet unfold.
A dreary day with a persistent drizzle
Held no match for the expectant faces
That helped to boost this aging woman
To a horse-shaped barrel with handles.
There were no misgivings as I hugged a wet horse,
Fondled her soothing, velvety chin
And stroked her muscled shoulders
As she stood, still and steady, in her place.
These breathing bodies were no longer strangers,
Having drawn the breath of trust,
Each from the other, from the first touch.
Each stroke drew an energy and a peace from the horse,
A gift given and accepted and understood by both.
The next visit pressed hot sun on rider and horse,
A soothing affection eagerly awaited.
High on her back, moving to her gait,
Speaking to her as a friend, a love kindled and was worn.
For such a short time, she fed me with her strength,
Encouraging me to hold tight to the gift she had created.
The memory is mine,
To savor and use, to put my arms around her
And stroke her strong, beautiful body and face, then wink,
And replay her Spirit as it lives in mine.