My first mount was a hobbyhorse, I’d ride him up and down
all around the basement, if not around the town.
In summer we would come outside and ride along the walk
that my sister used for hopscotch–all scribbled up with chalk.
With reins clipped to his harness, I maintained a healthy clip.
Careful over sidewalk grooves, avoiding every dip.
Never did he tarry as we hurried on our way,
for when we reached our destination, I would feed him straw and hay.
Then, being very hungry after my vigorous ride,
I’d put away my pony before I went inside
and I’d become the pony and my mother would feed me
carrot sticks and cabbage hay, sitting on Daddy’s knee.
I’d whinny with each forkful. I’d toss my head, then prance
upstairs to my nap to dream of England and of France
where policemen still rode horses along the city streets,
racing after robbers and other heroic feats.
And in my dreams, my horse and I would have a glorious ride
more dangerous than earlier rides we had had inside.
Charging after bandits, fording rivers and
forsaking backyard sidewalks for dirt and stone and sand.
We’d clamber up steep mountainsides to try to find a pass,
then kick up rocks while sliding down to sail through fields of grass.
We’d conquer all the beaches, then roll through fields of clover,
having wilder adventures until my nap was over.