Brown-eyed boy tosses his black head,
Pokes his nose through the corral bars
Sniffing, searching for the apple slice
He knows, he knows I hide behind me.
I laugh, he bobs his head, steps close,
Knickers softly, lowers his head near my face.
He loves me for the apple he smells,
Its dappled red and yellow skin
Hints at dusty summer noons,
Evokes grass cool and wet at dawn.
I relent and offer the fruit in my open palm.
He gobbles it in loud, happy crunches €”
Now he loves me even more.
I lean against the corral.
He snorts, puts his head against mine.
A bay yearling bugles a greeting,
Runs across the field to nuzzle an appaloosa.
Brown-eyed boy twitches his ears, knickers to the others.
In the slanted light of sunset, the hairs on his black neck
Gleam iridescent with blue, purple and green.
Warm blood, muscle and bone hold us both here,
But he is sinewed to the earth in ways I am not.
Are his thoughts images wrapped with sharp smells and taste?
What feelings thunder in his chest
When he pounds across a field?
I don’t know how his animal mind works,
But here in the dusty stable yard, in the warm sun
On the September cusp of Indian summer,
His breath, sweet with hay and apple, fans across my neck,
His huge face rests on my shoulder €”
We stand wordless and content.
For Cara’s bio, go here (scroll to end).