by Kay Kelley Nowell
Listen to Poem
Sweet mare, if all I did was watch
As you run and buck and play,
Marveled at your thund’ring power
When you charge and whirl away,
If I just observed your beauty,
Ballerina grace, and how
The sun dances on your bay coat
While you’re cutting out a cow.
Just watching you gives me pleasure,
And I’d feed you just for that.
If all I had was just the feel
Of your warm breath on my cheek,
The touch of your soft, velvet nose
Or your satin hide so sleek,
The companionship we share while
I’m untangling your mane,
The joy of your instant response
To a slight brush of the rein.
If all I had was how you felt,
Well, I’d feed you just for that.
If all I had was what I heard—
The contented munch of hay,
The steady beating of your hooves
As the miles just melt away.
Just to hear your eager nicker
When I catch you for a ride,
Those deep snorts on frosty mornings
As we head for the backside.
If all I had were those sweet sounds,
Oh, I’d feed you just for that.
I’ve felt your courage in the brush
When a wild one makes her run,
And I know I’m sure “a-horseback”
When there’s cow work to be done.
Yes, Fox, you do so many things
That fill my heart with pride,
Just to know I’ve got a partner
Wrapped up in your red-gold hide.
Long as I’ve got one bale of hay
I’ll make sure that you stay fat!
© 1961, Kay Kelley