Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

On this Mother's Day, I share with you a poem I wrote about getting my mom's palomino mare back to her feet after dental surgery.  We didn't know if she would survive the day, but she lived several more years to age 36.  While I lost my mother almost two years ago now, we will forever be connected through horses. 

A Golden Victory
(in response to Maxine Kumin's "Making the Jam Without You")

We have never made jam -
the complicity of sugar and heat -
but we have heaved a horse
from the earth, preserved gold.
Getting your old yellow mare
back to her feet after
her rotten teeth had been removed,
the anesthesia pulled
through her blood like taffy.
We shouldered all our hopes
and determination
that she would shuffle again
through the purpled alfalfa.
That you would ride her again,
her head tossing,
defying her ancient bones
breathing the same air
as the smoky new colt.
Twice she folded
back to the ground,
and we sweated and held back
our wails of defeat, did not hunch.
We yelled at her –
(you had told me never
to yell around the horses)
we crawled almost under her –
our feet slipping on the lawn.
Finally, with one last effort,
we became human pillars -
and grass-stained, panting,
the three of us stood still
under the summer sun.

Mama and Taffy, 1993

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