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Stride, Stride, Stride


Artwork: Zherong Hu

Original poem: Kara Swanson


Stride, Stride, Stride

Stride, stride, stride.
The smooth, worn leather squeaks beneath each placement of his hooves.
I relax into the saddle,
Admiring the way my body fits into it like a puzzle piece,
As though I was meant to traverse the hills of Pasture Two every day of my life.
I twist around and eye the campers behind me,
Paying close attention to two in particular.
Their gazes mimic mine-
We are capturing every breath of purest air,
every glance of bluest sky,
every touch of softest horsehair-
Any and every sensation that we can possible lock away in the form of a memory.
 
Stride, stride, stride.
The brown and white patches of Legend’s coat sway with each step.
Tears form behind my eyes as we start down the gravel hill.
Knowing full well that these are my last moments of freedom.
I stretch my body upward, Legend tosses his head-
Wind in our manes, meadow in our nostrils, liberation in our veins.
Wispy, white clouds festoon the vast sky above.
I throw my head back in laughter, he snorts in response.

Photo: Karah Smith

Photo: Karah Smith