MY GREAT-UNCLE’S HORSE

 

The best time of a deadly relatives’ Sunday

was to walk with him to the stable and watch him feed

the quiet animal, to give it sugar

from my own hand and jump back away

from the big, warm tongue,

to smell the hay and manure,

to see the white horse in the next stall

with tail and mane like yellow silk.

.

If my mother and I ran into him as he and the horse

were making their rounds, buying up the wonderful junk

they hauled in the wagon, he’d lift me to the seat

and let me hold the reins and yell “Giddy-up!”

.

In the spring of fourth grade, one afternoon of silent

division, we heard a clanking and looked outside.

My great-uncle! I could tell them all how I

had held those reins! But everyone laughed

at the hunched old man, the obsolete wagon and horse,

the silly, clattering junk. I did not tell them.

 

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