They told me horses play with balls
kick them, chase them
so I gave my horse a white one the size of her thighs
rolled it over the rye towards her
she raised her head in a moment’s surprise,
then turned away.
It lay the size of an unwanted moon
inanimate at the edge of the field
while she buried her nose in the tufts and tussocks
for an unlikely partner couched in the clover
weaving through the flower heads:
a Daddy Long Legs caught in the dandelions
skinny legs shifting through the petals
lacy wings lifting, wafting in a rainbow arch.
My horse’s head swings watching its airy cadence
hoofs twisting following its dance
as it drifts then slides, skims over a knoll,
knits through turf to where nettles stand
like dwarfed trees erect on a vast plain
those spindlespun legs sawing through leaves
and she tries to join in with her hefty hoofs
and it soars away.
Baffled, she trembles, thunders through thistle,
veers back, lifts her head, whinnying,
waiting for her vanished friend.
while they tell me horses play with balls.