A hundred and ten degrees
in an empty pen
where we watched him
stumble to his feet,

where we forget
twenty years of trying—
that a man was king
with all he needed

to get the job done.
Time swallows memory
like a snake
chokes a meal down

to the present tense—
outliving horses
before we fade
from this landscape.

We can ask too much,
plead for compassion
from invisible gods,
compensation for

the heroic hearts
we have held
within our fingers,
within our family.

                                        for Red Hot Montana


5 responses to “EMPTY PEN

  1. Peter Notehelfer

    The dead live forever in our hearts . . .


  2. Worthy of all kind words.


  3. I know the feeling, John – such emptiness! And you will hold him in your heart forever. He was the best of helpmeets as well as a good friend. They are part of you – part of your family.


  4. Good poem – I lost my little red mule – have no idea how old she was –
    they become part of your family.


  5. Still catching up….I save all your posts….this is beautiful….I lost my buckskin when he was 25 too……big hole in my heart….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.