Washing Day

Long ago at age eleven – maybe we were ten

We clomped to the barn – our souls hand-in-hand.

Too-big, borrowed boots flopped in rubbery smacks.

Hay above and hay below and hay just out of muzzle reach

With stiffly smell like snapping grass. We sucked rugged,

Black licorice with a kick like gin in old movies.

Over paddy, shaven wood, we stealthily snatched the beast.

We tied him up and wet him down slathering swaths of soap.

In the mane and down the back, her expert fingers played.

Swirling currycomb patterns across his golden skin,

Suds splashed our giggling cheeks. We spat the stickily sweet

Mane ‘N Tail into the draining dirt.

She taught me how

To spit, to cluck, to groom, to post, to buckle, to mount.

We played with his dripping, soaked-wire tail

Too long, too far, too deep.

His leg muscle rippled with tension.

If he could talk, he’d have sworn.

I swear my short life flashed.

The angled knee calculated for my gut.

She pushed me to the side.

That spit-fire, half-pint spanked him hard

and roared with parental authority,


And saved my life that day.


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I am a 7-year-old​ stuck in a twenty-something's body. I enjoy long walks on the beach and peanut butter on waffles. If the following combinations of letters mean anything to you: OYAN, LotR, F.R.O.G., AiO, OBPC, DIY Then we can be friends. And if not, we still can be friends!

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