The Trees

There is a song called “For Your Love.” This is how I feel about the trees in the Midwest winter. They are gray and black stick-like against a gray-white sky with white snow and gray slush. Cars drive through the slush and make a skidding sound and sometimes hit ice and the headlights are yellow and blurry against a fading out sky. If you reach with your mitten you can pull icicles off the trees. They stick to your tongue and lips and freeze, burning, and melt. The horses are freezing and windblown. Their coats become thick even under heavy blankets and they snort and blow in the winter stalls and everything constricts like ice about to crack. On these evenings my Dehners became brittle and I walked gently through the snow and the wind stung my face and I squinted my eyes in the sleet heading for the barn to ride. Once I finished training I sat on the front porch of the barn near a heat lamp, and ate Fritos, and watched the snow float down in big heavy flakes. It was so pretty, and the sky was black, and I tasted salt and snow and smelled horses and felt happy for my life in the quiet thawing night.


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