Green cactus; Red rock

Green cactus; Red rock
photo by Linda Hoffman Kimball

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Horse Power

Horse Power
By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Driving home from church today
I thought about my ancestors.
Not my ancestors in general,
But the specifics of how my
19th century kinfolk got around.
They had no cars, so how did they
Get from place to place in their routines?
Once they got here from Germany and Sweden
They settled in Midwestern cities.
Did they own buggies and horses?
Did they hire horse taxis?
To get groceries and supplies, did Jacob
Go out to the stall behind the house,
Stroke Blaze’s soft nose, slip her an apple,
Attach the accoutrements
And set off clop-clopping down the road?
Where did he get feed for her? Who shoed her?
On what occasions did she need a vet?
Was she merely an important tool,
Expected to work, taken for granted
Like I do my car in the garage?
Or did my great-grandfather rub her down,
Coo to her in his German dialect,
Inhaling the sweat and strength
Of her with a grateful heart?

No comments:

Post a Comment