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Literary Hook: A poem for horse lovers

January 22, 2014
Christine Swanberg

Christine Swanberg

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

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