Monday, December 28, 2009

Horse Trainer

I pictured Suzanne Norton Jones
as a tall, stern, ranching woman
in her 50s – imagining someone like
Barbara Stanwyk of the Big Valley.

Our eyes met in the hallway
before a recent 4-H Hall of Fame ceremony.
"You look like you are looking
for mischief," she said.
Older and shorter than I thought,
her kind smile beamed
above her long, sunken chin,
a gleam in her eyes, soft-spoken words.
She compared people with horses.
She knew what a horse was thinking
by reading its eyes.

I said to her, "A horse laughed at me once."
A long time ago, a stable worker
set me up with a horse, fit
me in a saddle, and disappeared.
I wiggled the reins three times,
tap, tap, tap with my heels on the horse's flanks.
I said, "Come on! Come on!"
No response.
I yanked on the reins.
The horse swung his head around,
looked at me, twisted his lips
as a laughing chimp with bared teeth.
I deserved to feel like a fool.

Suzanne's body shook with laughter.
I knew she would love my story.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Recent Move

oh, the back aches, stressed neck
tensed shoulders....dry, cracked fingers
from handling newsprint, many boxes
rolls of packing tape, beat up knuckles
bled from sores, lost weight
aching feet, and all the hours spent
packing, moving and cleaning

xxxxx a quiet place,
xxxxx free from trashy, low-life neighbors
xxxxx drug dealers and worthless whores

xxxxx free from broken windows, neighbors
xxxxx yelling, hitting, screaming, cussing...
xxxxx watching police arrive to settle disputes
xxxxx and other noises that kept me awake
xxxxx at night, like loud hip-hop rap flap

more than a new page, a whole new book
new scene, different chapters
tomorrow I will look back, laugh
at the insanity of living there

I love having my own carport, picket fence
and gate to help me feel more secure
two yards, two porches, a storage/shop/laundry room
and all the other things I've been wishing for

my own house

First Days

Rejoice! Rejoice!
first night
first shower
first breakfast
first loads of laundry
first time to take out the trash
first snow
first time to close the gate
first meal on the gas stove

meet my next door neighbor
deal with a barking dog in my yard
use the bathroom, wash some dishes
drive to a new grocery store
throw frozen food into my new fridge
welcome first visitors

I miss the first trash pickup

spot a white cat scampering through the yard
who trips the sensor lights outside

pick up the phone and hear a dial tone
hook up my computer and the internet works

Hallelujah! I celebrate!