2021 Poetry Broadside Submission # 8: MORNING CHORES By Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan, Palmer

MORNING CHORES
By Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan, Palmer

Snowflakes land on my face,
Tiny pinpricks of sky.
Still dark, the wind is down, temperatures up,
Five degrees and
The horses are hungry.
The dogs romp in the snow
Before getting down to the business of
Walking horses from the barn to their feeders.

Weather is a constant for these creatures.
They live and breathe it, shiver and bask in it.
It has gone from windy and minus sixteen
To this,
Cloudy skies and blessed calm,
Snow falling like stars.

I am but a gatekeeper. They have each other.
A horse fell on the ice
Yesterday and the herd
Gathered around, muzzles
Down as if to say,
“What’s this?”
I went to help but the gelding knew
The job was his. He nipped her
On the flank, Get up.
Predators abound.
So she struggled once again and
Succeeded. In a collective
Sigh, they all dispersed to once again
Argue over who should first
Enter the open gate.

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