In the darkness of a clouded dawn,
I push the cart across the lawn,
feeling the shake and shudder
of each lump and bump in the rough grass,
pass the garage and the horse trailer,
cross the low ridge of the old terrace,
then stop beside the shed
where the hay bales are stacked.
I unlatch the wider doors to the shed,
find by feeling the strings in the thatch
and break open a new bale of alfalfa.
If there is a dessert hay,
or opiate for horses,
this is it.
I take only a couple of flakes
for each horse,
add a whole bale of brome.
The plastic wheels of the cart
rumble and rattle loudly
across the gravel driveway.
On the side of the short slope
next to the fence,
I divide the hay
and make two piles
forty feet apart
so that neither the mare nor the gelding
can guard both at once.
Sharing is an art
in the equestrian world,
and the human as well,
even when there’s more than enough
to go around.