Soft the curve of her neck like soft-blown glass,
the whoosh of a mare’s tail
whipping air into shape like the wind.
I dreamt our daughter into a red farmhouse—
rain softly falling, making the farmhouse and its horses
glisten like an objet d’art in a stranger’s hand.
But the evening was cold. It crawled
underneath our skin and waited like a bad omen.
When we tried to feed the foal, the mother
nudged its head away and took all.
Our daughter’s soft silhouette wriggled out of reach—
a toddler’s sprightly rebellion—as she slid into
the quadrant of her own dreamscape,
her grandparents’ garden of little freedoms.
At night she slept with them but called for mama
with the soft voice of a bird
unsure of song or destination.
When we were leaving,
the newborn’s legs buckled
as he was nursing.
Both were the color of earth
on a long summer evening.
With the fierce fragility of an innocent,
the foal nudged his mother closer, and I saw:
our daughter was sending us away
so there’d be no need for facing that softness,
the hazy light that envelops humans and horses
after the rain is done.