The Mare and The Storm

by John Grey

I strolled through the alfalfa field
circled by panicked insects
and with a storm slowly making something
of the warm, too peaceful, air.

The mare in a nearby field
proved the perfect weather forecaster.
She galloped then stopped, galloped and stopped,
before neighing as loud as the thunder to come.

I made my way through a gnat cloud
to the fence, leaned over,
tried my best to calm her.
But her head wasn’t into hearing.

The bridle hung at my side.
It was time to bring her in to the safety of the barn.
But she pounded her hooves,
swung her head like a weapon at buzzing fly.

Luckily, lightning brought her to her senses.
It lit up the afternoon like a sign from the god of equines.
She stopped and shuddered at the distant thunder.
I slipped through the gate and rubbed her neck,

threaded her mane with my fingers.
Slowly but surely, I became bigger to her
than the dark clouds moving in,
the next flash, that even closer rumble.

I walked her as confidently as I could
as the air grew gloomier and even the bugs
began to dart here and there,
looking for a hideaway to tide out the storm.

“Everything’s OK,” was my mantra.
I hoped it would be hers as well.
She clip-clopped gently up the trail
even as the sky closed in all around us.

We made it to the barn, the stall,
just as those clouds burst and rain plummeted down.
She kissed my cheek to thank me for my timing,
or perhaps even my power over the heavens.

I was mightier than the god of all the horses.
And I had sugar cubes in my pocket.
Her tongue snared one, then tow, then three,
I was the supreme being, these the objects of her faith.


John Grey is an Australian poet, residing in the US, recently published in
That, Dalhousie Review, Thin Air and North Dakota Quarterly with work
upcoming in Qwerty, Chronogram and failbetter.

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