Game of Horses


Photo by Iurii Laimin on


Scent of eucalyptus

carries me into the woods

bordering my school

where my best friend, Lisa–

she of the straight blond bob

and breadloaf teeth—

gallops with me on paths

of fish-shaped leaves.


We are the best of horses

I, Skyrocket, and she,

Bahira, the Arabian queen,

defend our forest,

escape from evil traders

We can never be bridled or tamed

No saddle will touch our backs.


Magically, we are the riders,

two huntresses of Artemis,

armed with bows

we ride the bent-over tree

in a canopy of lemon-tart leaves

tracking the Cyclops

Lisa says the monster kills Skyrocket.

No, no!

Yes, it has to be Skyrocket.


I chase her through the dusty woods

Nothing inside but rage

Lisa runs ahead laughing her fear

If I catch her—


but I can’t.

She’s bigger, faster.

I collapse on crumpled leaves,

hot tears who wanted

to hurt my friend



Photo by Jean van der Meulen on


My birth certificate says:

She wished to be born a horse.


My mother was afraid to let me ride.

My father told me horses were stupid animals.


Outside Pickwick Stables where I wandered

the world thrilled to color TV

Rock and roll shook our hips

Elizabeth was crowned queen.


What do you want for Christmas?

A horse.

I never got one.


But today, while McConnell obstructs

While California smolders

While Haiti starves

I steal a quarter hour to wander Blue Chip Farm

where chestnut and chocolate standard-breds graze.


The yearlings feel frisky

They play chase across pastures green as Ireland

Tail flags flying

Running for the fun of it


They catch my breath

as does the jumper

whose muscled flanks propel him over the gate

“Put him to it again,” the trainer calls.


Before I return to vengeful Republicans


Pregnant woman in Texas planning desperation

I will take this jewel of horse time

and thread it on my necklace

of precious days.