Visit my show at the PSCCU Credit Union, Vashon, Washington May, June 2024 

Letting life “cure” us

Every day, life burnishes and “cures” us —sometimes by the unexpected and dramatic, sometimes by the routine and ordinary.

We feel, we love, we celebrate, we grieve, and we grow.

I walk to the paddock each morning and see cycles of life—beginning, maturing, and fading—playing out before me.

The impending death of a 29-year-old horse may not seem tragic. And yet, I feel my heart stirring.

It’s hard to know that what you have loved will be leaving.

(I wrote this for the critters.)

Ode to the old horse about to die

My friend, you are ready
your back caved in, your hips distorted
You sidestep your way through life
You can’t follow a straight line.
I hear you saying, “It’s time.”

Yet, every day, you show up for breakfast
hours of munching in the field,
eating as much as feeble teeth can manage,
hoping for a moment’s rub.

Half-blind, arthritic, and a bit pushy
for years unrideable,
you were raced hard
then found your way to a woman
who rode you, retired you, and loved you
until she passed.
And let her estate care for you.

Each morning, I approach your paddock with dread
Hoping to find you upright.
Please last until the vet returns.
I miss you already.
I try to send moonbeams of love—ease—into your crooked places
You’ve stood with my mare for many years
I bless you for that.

Today, my stomach roils
I will miss you, old fella.
Even as blindness made you bumble, you’ve been a good guest.
The world deemed you worthless
Your owner did not.
She lives in you still.
And now, I ask, and now?

This spring, I groomed you by hand
pulling your dense dark coat, clump by clump,
helping you shed buckets of brown fur,
when you couldn’t roll.

We’ve kept a good bargain
I watched over you,
and you, my mare.
I do not want that world to end
to change
as life does every day
regardless of my perspective.

No one may care about our story, old boy.
As your days grow shorter,
I treasure each one
As I do with my husband
As I do with my life.

For the little things in life we may take for granted, but someday will sorely miss.

2 Responses

  1. What a beautiful ode, Sally. It hits home for me as Jim’s health is declining. And now Parkinson’s. Each moment is a treasure. We hold on, sometimes with heads in the sand, avoiding the thoughts of what we know is to come. Life is so beautiful. Death is so hard… and so damn definite. I am so sorry about your sweet old boy. xx

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