Today's poem is by Re'Lynn Hansen

The Ghost Horse

We were going to get a horse. The horse would give us meaning. Or a feeling we didn't have sitting in lecture halls during the day or waiting on tables at night.

We would ride the horse from Illinois to Colorado and meet people along the way who would also give us meaning.

Before we went to see the horse, my friend June bought a pair of English riding boots in butter yellow. She found them at the local Goodwill, four dollars.

The horse handler had a Guns N' Roses t-shirt and slapped at the horse's chest. The horse went crazy. He pawed the ground and the steam from his nostrils hung in the darkened stables.

As soon as June mounted, her boots slid from the stirrups. The horse was gone like a ghost train, all light and muscle flying past. And June was a horizontal dash on top of it—frightening and comical—the stirrups bounced and flew beneath her, useless apparatus to hook the rider.

There was a sift of snow on the stubbled wheat outside the corral. I felt the moment pressing upon me, perhaps knew how I would remember it: whitened girls on a whitened landscape with Ghost Horse.

Freakin' sideshow hell horse, the horse handler shouted. The horse breached the corral, jumped a low gate. The horse-hand ran and tried to stop him. Whoa! Whoa! Several times the horse handler had to ditch.

June hung on. The horse slowed himself.

Then for a moment June looked like god on a horse, straight in the saddle. It was as we had imagined ourselves—we who did not believe in god, but horses.

The horse handler grasped the reins. June dismounted, and we walked away. There was a bus stop at the cul-de-sac, before the fields and stables. Turning back I saw the horse handler standing there with the reins of the colossal horse, a dejected giant, a Trojan horse, the Appaloosa, a clown of a horse.

Everything huge and luminous and dying.

Copyright © 2015 Re'Lynn Hansen All rights reserved
from To Some Women I Have Known
White Pine Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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