I scanned this picture, remembering–
mm . . . remembering how Goldy made me hate riding,
how my enchanted love was turned to fear and disdain
in one youthful summer and fall.
What my grandpa was thinking, I’ll never know.
Is it that throw ’em in the pool and see ’em swim kind of instruction?
Was it an ignorance of what thirteen-year-old horse lovers know?
Was he trying to cure me to give my parents a moment’s peace from begging?
Well, it worked. Cured!
To a furious lover of all things horse,
he gave me an animal that required a choke bit and blinders
because she was hard to control and reared at every groundhog hole.
And now here is poor sister, having mounted, excited for a first ride:
Goldy petulantly tears off through the front field, across the drainage ditch,
on and on; and on and on and on and on;
and when sister jumps off at a brief stop
[[by the fence near the railroad tracks ]],
Goldy chases her already terrified skinny form so that she scrambles []]
across the fence –breathe, gasp, cry~~~~
to escape being bitten.
This was my temporary gift while Goldy was with foal.
This was my grandpa’s way of making me accept responsibility –maybe.
The capstone to my horse dreaming: a call on the phone.
11 o’clock at night. A dark night.
An angry German-neighbor-type call
who did not appreciate said tyrannical mare toughening up black angus beef
by chasing cows back and forth—>
and back and forth through his German-neighbor-type fields.
Imagine a now just fourteen-year-old girl,
in the dark, chilled, in pajamas,
crossing the fields (the ones with groundhog holes!) –scared and alone,
bridle in hand, retrieving her demon under German scorn.
This was my temporary gift–a gift horse.
This was my grandpa’s way of blessing me –maybe.
Is it any wonder that my heart **rejoiced** when Dad’s milk inspector
said the horse had to go –couldn’t house cows and horses together.
Taints the milk. Aw . . .
I heartily agreed. She had already tainted my soul!