Saturday, August 17, 2013

Equine Therapy


I see you
on a horse,
peaceful
as the moon,
no longer struggling
with your world.

And I hear
your anxiety
slowly absorbed
into saddle
and sinew
and mane,
your nerves
smoothed
by the gait
of gentleness.
You are
our child.

So long
our seasons have
turned too quickly
with worry,
our days ground
by the milling
of our stomachs,
frantic you’d
never make it.
The nightmares,
the notes
from teachers,
the shake
of the doctor’s head,
prognosis:
this is the way
it is.
We abandoned rest
long ago.

Yet here
you are,
confident as sunset,
sitting straight,
shoulders back,
a streak of smile
on your serious lips.

You laugh
as the mare
tickles your senses,
lifts her head
to meet your touch,
softly jolts you
into recognition
that you are
as good as anyone,
that you are
loved unconditionally,
that not being able
to speak it
does not equal
less-than,
or lower-than,
or a negative number,
especially when
you’re riding a dream.

We’ve waited
for this time
when you
would be strong
enough to wave
while riding,
happy enough
to giggle,
hopeful enough
to love tomorrows.

Now,
as afternoon drops
behind the field,
we see you,
our child,
standing up
in stirrups,
matching the rhythm
of your carrier,
trotting towards
victory.
You lean forward
to the future,
and maybe,
just maybe,
a good
night’s sleep.


Copyright Katherine Gotthardt 2013

Draft 2 August 17, 2013
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