Feeding horses winter mornings,
I turn the key to hear the click,
watch the fuel gauge needle flinch
as glow plugs heat for injected diesel
before the Kubota fires to make my rounds
and save old legs for another day.
Backing into a swirl of first exhaust,
I pause to inhale the unmistakable
past that reappears in freezing air:
taste and smell the smudge pots
along every road and dirt avenue
between Exeter’s citrus trees,
battalions of flaming sentries purring
beneath the roar of wind machines
and ever-twinkling frosty stars.
I become where I’ve come from
and roll towards the barn cats’ bowl,
faces of horses waiting patiently.