A writing challenge on the prompt “ritual.”
. . .
The boy pulls on each boot as his father watches
he grabs his helmet by the strap
lifts it from the dirt where he dropped it
trudges through the barn’s shadowed maw where the ponies stand in cross-ties
and a thousand girls in jodhpurs adore them.
I prompt him at every step of the ritual tacking-up as he
swipes at the pony’s legs with a brush
broods at its refusal to lift a hoof for the pick
forgets where its bridle, saddle, and the stained pad are stored
although he has been taking lessons all summer.
Here’s what he thinks about riding
and his father’s nostalgia for horses —
He drops the saddle on the pony’s back
with the pommel facing backward.
. . .
© 2018 Patti Witten
photo / Patti Witten