By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet
Many horse lovers live in this area. A special winter pleasure is riding horses in the winter. They keep you warm and they are high-spirited on cold days. For animal lovers, the barn itself is wonderland with its own special culture. Animals speak in ways that they alone fully understand. I stand in awe of creatures and their various ways of communication. Here is a very old sonnet I wrote years ago when I owned a lovely little horse.
Before Grooming the Horse in Winter
Mare searches for old kernels with her nose
and finds them lodged within the burry spears.
She wants the bundled bales but she’s not close
enough behind the bales to reach the tiers.
A loose whinny drops her liquid muzzle,
and when Bruce the brown tomcat wraps his tail
around her fetlock, their noses nuzzle.
She rolls him. He leaps to the highest bale.
Her icy tail whips against an old gray
plank, sets Bruce upon his haunches, but she
forgets their game, content to munch away.
They touch like willow blossoms in the barn
and speak a language I’m too fast to learn.
First published in Spoon River Quarterly. Also published in Who Walks Among the Trees with Charity and The Alleluia Tree.
Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet. She received the Lawrence E. Gloyd Community Impact Award at the 2012 Rockford Area Arts Council State of the Arts Awards.
Posted Jan. 22, 2014