Crimson

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Photo of Crimson and me, circa 1998

 

I can’t talk about the barn without introducing you to Crimson. He was “my boy” — a sweet thoroughbred, Quarter Horse cross. A grandson of Secretariat, he came to me after his years on the track. He was an amazing horse — calm enough to put anyone on him, yet willing to do whatever I asked. He performed beautifully in the hunter/jumper ring, then as he got older transitioned into an elegant dressage horse. But it was his easygoing personality that made him so lovable. It was wonderful having him on the farm, and a piece of me will always miss him.

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I wrote this poem about Crimson several year ago, during the time my mother first became ill with Alzheimer’s. Crimson helped me get through those difficult years.

Every Day

I have come to be with my horse,
to this place behind the barn
where the dirt is dry and pocked
with prints of hooves.

He stands resting one hind leg,
then the other, tail skimming
the ground. His haunches slope
with the curve of the hill.
We are both waiting.

A sparrow twitters
and Crimson’s stomach rumbles
from an afternoon of grass and wandering.
He is the patient one.

I need to know earth will resolve
day into dark and dark into day,
that clouds will shift to reveal
something bright, that rain
will quench the grass, color it green.

My horse grazes within his black fence,
waits for grain to arrive twice a day,
his water trough to be filled.
Every day he lifts his head
as I come down the hill.

(This poem first appeared in They Wrote Us A Poem, V, published by Duke University Medical Center.)

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Crimson grazing with a pasture buddy.

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