waltzing miss jeanie by pd lyons

 Waltzing Miss Jeanie

The sky barely visible

Gunmetal cold keeps each bit of snow completely separate.

Sounds, most into silence or muffled by a swish and swirl

As my horse moves through.

Imagine sand against a giant hourglass,

Wicked witch of the west,

There’s no place like home…

Nothing else moves,

Rock walls mostly covered

Drainage ditches camouflaged

Snow drifts level the landscape almost beyond illusion.

By memory only we keep to the road.

Imagine being the first to cross this land in winter

And if it were a time before horses…?

Off the open ridge we cut down to where the pine woods

Shelter enough so we can pick up the pace.

Occasionally over burdened snow spills,

Sometimes peeling bits of green, chunks of old ice, thuds magnified by the quiet.

Perhaps an excuse to break monotony

Or some primal memory aroused –

She spooks.

Imagine double barrel blast, a restless dragon, a living legend…

So I talk her through; my voice being a calm place for her to focus.

So I sing, putting the name she knows into the song,

My fathers’ curious choice for a lullaby he used to sing to me.

Imagine not yet five years old, frightened from things that you don’t even have words for.

Things that move only in those darker places in your room,

And then his heavy footsteps, the weight of his body as he sits on the edge the bed, his strong steady hands sometimes rubbing sometimes patting while always singing over and over until finally asleep you couldn’t ask him to again…

We make our way like that now,

Dealing with imagined as well as real risks –

Patches of ice beneath this rising snow upon this rising, winding road


versions of this were published by Hotmetal Press and West47 Galway arts.

some of the most rare and wonderful moments of my life were brought to me by horses ( lovers and acid). i have actually been out in blizzard conditions on horse back albeit in Connecticut and only a few miles to go. Jeanie was a hot little chestnut Morgan mare, she taught me much, broke my heart and a few bones in the process. I am very grateful for having known her.




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  • Donna J Snyder  On April 25, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    A Connecticut cowboy, after all.

    The poignancy of these memories, of the horse, your father, the history of this land through the millennia, wrapped me in reverie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pdlyons  On April 26, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      thank you. it is one that i think came together very well.


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