Old Horse Barn

Twenty-six daily mucked stalls
for a bevy of broken down thoroughbreds
still hoping for the dreams their thin legs rest on.

A water trough, a feed box,
old hoses that crack in winter,
harbinger of flies in summer,
clouds of DDT.

A teen ripped from my city
neighborhood, home, friends, school
by my gambling father.

Isolated now, listening to Hambone,
an older black farmhand,
stroking one of his thirty-nine cats,
stroking my pain.  

He urged me not to run away.

Published in Verse Wrights