We Drew Horses

With crayons and the clean sides
of our dads’ used paper from work
we lay on our stomachs
drawing horses. None of us
had seen a real horse.
We didn’t know
about saddles and bridles,
bits and breaking. We’d never
smelled horseshit, nor stood
next to an animal that weighed
a thousand pounds.
It didn’t matter. Mares
and stallions reared and galloped
through our imaginations.
We gave them wings, pink eyelashes,
and the power of speech.
We shivered as their huge
mouths searched our hair
for hidden carrots, lipped
sliced apples from our palms.
We wound their manes around
our fists, buried our faces
in their warm, dusty necks,
and dreamed, not of escape,
but of the not-yet-understood
animal power of our
not-yet-understood lives,
poised and ready to take off.

Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA from 2013-2016. She is the author of Wild Place (Finishing Line Press 2012) and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets (PushPen Press 2014). Erica teaches poetry workshops and works as a Development Director for California Poets in the Schools. Her poems, reviews and articles appear widely. Please visit her at: www.ericagoss.com.