Her hooves pawed at the frozen ground.
Her coat matted a sticky mud brown.
The haflinger snorted, nostrils flared
Tossing her mane without a care
Or so it seemed, this lonely horse
Left in the cold without recourse
She was too old, her back too swayed
A life giving rides to any who paid
But now, no longer able to work
No more carrot treats as a perk
Standing in the mirror, she nuzzled her reflection
The mirror an impractical gift of appreciation
Her breath fogged the silvery surface
As the moon emerged and shone on her face
A tingling started and then a pain
Then something blossomed in her brain
A horn of gold twisted from her forelock
Her coat showed no more signs of muck
Her body grew with muscles strong
Her mane and tail got Fabio long
She turned to the mirror and let out a neigh
She won’t become glue to her owner’s dismay
No more prancing for the pleasure of others
A unicorn surely should not be smothered
She nudged her stall door then galloped out of the barn
Without a look back, she didn’t give a darn
As a unicorn, she didn’t need to linger
But if only she had a middle finger
I had fun writing this poem for Sadje’s picture prompt What do you see? Challenge #12 although the inspiration was actually a sad event.
My daughters take horse back riding lessons. There is a halflinger named Sarge who has been at this barn for a long time and is usually the first horse that new students ride due to his gentle nature. He is getting old and has been having some physical issues. His owner mentioned selling him when he can no longer give riding lessons. I asked the owner if she would sell him despite making her a lot of money giving riding lessons. She said despite Sarge being a good horse, that he still needed to earn his keep and that she would have no use for him if he is no longer able to work.
I didn’t grow up on a farm so it is difficult for me to wrap my head around the idea of animals that aren’t pets, that they are there to serve their purpose for humans – whether pulling wagons, laying eggs, giving milk or being our food. I know I participate in this exploitation and I joke about it (if cows didn’t taste so good…) however this reality really saddened me. After years of work, this horse would just be tossed away as if he didn’t matter.
The Go Dog Go Cafe’s Tuesday Writing Prompt to use the phrase “standing in the mirror, she…” helped me turn this sad scenario into a happy ending. Sometimes we need to take a good look in the mirror to see our self-worth and to leave situations or people who don’t honor our worth. We might not sprout a golden horn, but our confidence and self esteem would shine through.
©️ 2020 iido