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horse – dverse letter

April 8, 2015


And as time begins to slow for me
I understand your lives whirl ever faster
Still, I thought… I wanted you to know
About that brown mare.

You might recall,
she fetched one dollar and other considerations.
Too small to rope from, a cow might pull her down
Her cowboy had to let her go.
I recollect they couldn’t catch her
Bribed her with oats to bring her in to sell

She took to the mountain
learned every trail, and when we put
you on with cowboy hats and boots
that couldn’t reach her flank
she was steady, sure, and true

she was proud, a working horse
and she took her duty seriously
Always knew the homeward path
Sometimes when we bushwhacked off the trail
She’d quizzically look back to me
Almost speaking  “Are you lost again?”

If you’ve ever loved an animal you know
That they always break your heart.
Horse time is eternally today,
But those days, they gallop so quickly on.

Lush mountain pastures keep a horse
fat happy and content
‘Till the teeth are worn and the knees
are bad and it’s pain to bend to eat.
We kept her maybe an extra year
It’s hard to say goodbye.
But then one day, the signs are there
no longer to be denied.

She’s buried up near the far third lake
where a cairn of stones mark the space
keep her bones intact from the coyote’s teeth
in Rosie’s resting place.

Now my days pass, while your days pulse
and I wanted you to know
that a resting place by an old brown mare
is a fine place for me to go.


From → poetry

  1. Hi Bill,
    I commented earlier but must have missed the Post button. You’ve done a wonderful job of capturing the patient devotion of a beloved animal and the pain of losing a friend. Brings back memories….

    • Thanks VB – I’m glad the poem touched you. Animals can be both noble and loving.

  2. A great horse tale Bill! Never had horses for a partner but had cats before. They were adorable just as horses certainly!


  3. Love how you start in the present, reminisce, and then come back to the present with reasons for you reminiscences

    • Thanks Bryan – what higher honor can be said than she was a good horse, or of us that someone might say the same.

  4. This is such a beautiful poem as tribute to your beloved horse. I can fully relate to the grief of losing a dear friend, and animals are friends to our souls. I feel that way about my dogs.

  5. oh wow – a felt piece – and yeah – an animal can be such a friend – i had a dog once and it was so tough when he died

    • Hi Claudia – hope all is well there, and spring is blessing you and yours.

      Love is always such a risk.

  6. I understand your letter as a praise to the hard working laborer, the person not occupied with gaining power and glitter but steadily and loyally doing his job in the ranch of The Lord. I enjoyed the picture you paint. Reliability is indeed what to achieve.

  7. beautiful pen ~

  8. To be wild and free and to love..

    is enough..:)

  9. An animal, family or friend are all buried by our hearts’ third lake. We need only look in.

  10. heartfelt write, Bill… horses have an incomparable amount of loyalty. Lovely tale

  11. “If you’ve ever loved an animal you know
    That they always break your heart.”

    So true Bill – I had a pet dog when I was a young boy. I can not forget the time when he left us.

  12. Aww. I drank this up. Excellent.

  13. Glenn Buttkus permalink

    My sister is the horse person, adored them for 40 years, until she was thrown from one, broke her back, & had a head trauma she never fully recovered from. But your touching colorful energetic poem leaves room for the love of all animals.

    • sorry to hear about your sister Glenn – that’s a sad part of riding, even the best riders get thrown. We always face the risk/reward equation in our lives and loves.

  14. So very true that if you have ever loved an animal they always break your heart. You have described horse-love so well. And yes, sometimes one waits as long as one can before saying good-bye. I have not loved a horse, but I have loved dogs. And I think dog-time is even shorter than horse time. A heart-felt letter, Bill.

    • thanks – and yes, dogs are with us even a shorter time. With dogs I am always reminded of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s response when asked by a child if dogs are in heaven – “I tell you they will be there before us”

  15. Very moving poem, Bill. I have never experienced a close relationship with a horse but in your words I recognize a love I have seen in others.

  16. I am not crazy about horses, but this made me warm up to them. What a touching poem.

    • thanks – when my daughter rides, it makes me believe in telepathy, it’s very moving.

  17. Wow, makes me misty-eyed.

  18. I love horses too, so this was extra poignant for me – plus it brings in all that lovely of mountain pastures, nature, being at one with it. So true, that simple, heartfelt commentary: If you’ve ever loved an animal you know/That they always break your heart.

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