My Father's Horse
Stickers tear my legs, bare and tan
from summer sun. Long black braids
fly behind me as I sprint like a Derby winner
down the path.
Harnessed with hames, bridle
and blinders, Charlie plods down
the farm road. Tired and wet with sweat,
he is perfume to my nostrils.
My father swings me up. I bury
my hands in tangled mane. My thighs
stick to leather and damp white hair
high above the ground.
I want to sing in glorious joy,
but only croon a child's nonsensical
tune, grinning for a hundred yards
between field and barn.
My father's arms are strong.
His hands are gentle. The horse
is all we ever share. For he has sons
and I am just a daughter.