Nibbling my proffered carrot with prehensile lips,

you bow that great head of yours in gratitude

and I stare into the cloudy cobalt of your eye,


finger your muzzle’s velvetiness,

note each different grunt and snort, the silken rasp

of tail-hairs when you lash out against a fly.


I drink in your dimensions, those goblin ears thick

with furry tufts, swivelling on their stems,

the brassy neigh of pleasure when the van


draws up into the yard. I study the bony plates

of your face working in tune with the cyclical crunch

of your jaws on a mouthful of hay;


I map the little nicks and scars of horse-box lore,

adore your neat-shaved boxer’s poll –

then, with a sudden clang of shoe on stone


you turn away to slake your thirst.

Come back Winston, I implore.

Don’t leave me here with my incompetence.


Annie Freud

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