My Father's Horse
Stickers tear my legs, bare and tan from summer sun.
Long black braids fly behind me as I sprint
like a Derby winner down the path.
Harnessed with hames, bridle, and blinders, Charlie plods down the farm road. Tired and wet with sweat, he's perfume to my nostrils.
My father swings me up. I bury my hands in the tangled mane. My thighs stick to leather and damp white hair high above the ground.
I want to sing in glorious joy, but only croon a child's nonsensical tune, grinning for a hundred yards between field and barn.
My father's arms are strong. His hands are gentle. The horse is all we ever share. For he has sons and I am just a daughter.
---Glenda Council Beall