Because I know tomorrow
his faithful gelding heart will be broken
when the spotted mare is trailered and driven away,
I come today to take him for a gallop on Diaz Ridge.
Returning, he will whinny for his love.
her white parts red with hill-dust,
her red parts whitened with the same, she never answers.
But today, when I turn him loose at the hill-gate
with the taste of chewed oat on his tongue
and the saddle-sweat rinsed off with water,
I know he will canter, however tired,
whinnying wildly up the ridge’s near side,
and I know he will find her.
He will be filled with the sureness of horses
whose bellies are grain-filled,
whose long-ribbed loneliness
can be scratched into no-longer-lonely.
His long teeth on her withers,
her rough-coated spots will grow damp and wild.
Her long teeth on his withers,
his oiled-teakwood smoothness will grow damp and wild.
Their shadows’ chiasmus will fleck and fill with flies,
the eight marks of their fortune stamp and then cancel the earth.
From ear-flick to tail-switch, they stand in one body.
No luck is as boundless as theirs.
~Jane Hirshfield “The Love of Aged Horses”
Is there anything as wonderful as a good friend?
Someone who doesn’t mind if you are getting long in the tooth and fluffy around the waist and getting white around the whiskers?
Someone who will listen to your most trivial troubles and nod and understand even if they really don’t?
Someone who will fix you up when you are hurt and celebrate when you are happy?
Someone who knows exactly where your itches are that need scratching, even if it means a mouthful of hair?
We all need at least one. We all need to be one for at least one other.
Isn’t it good to know? You’ve got a friend in me…
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