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The push broom leaned
against the wall.

Margie’s Shadow dawdled
toward the silver-domed trailer,
the lead slack,
chestnut coat charming the light.

She walked the ramp
with a winning stride.
Snaps clicked, 
harness secured,
tailgate latched.

My father drove one county over,
reversed the order—
unlatching, unsnapping,
tightening the lead,
backing down the ramp.

And then the handover.
An Amish man who answered the ad.

No choice, my father told me,
what else to do
when a horse breaks stride.

While he was gone,
I angled the barrow
by her stall.

The feed trough bare,
water bucket half full.
A faint trace of urine.

No shuffling but my own.

What else to do
but strip the bedding,
wheel to the open pasture,
scatter straw to the unbridled sun. 

Sandra Fees is the author of The Temporary Vase of Hands (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and served a term as Berks County, Pennsylvania, Poet Laureate (2016-2018). Her work has appeared in Sky Island Journal, Poets Reading the News, Chiron Review, and others.

© 2021, Sandra Fees

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