Stable by Betsy Mars


Cinnamon glints like small fires
on the sleekness of the horse’s neck
in the late afternoon sunlight
as his head pulls right, straining
to be free of the bit,

to reach for grasses and the thistles
that line the trail, and I pull back –
a battle of wills – but he doesn’t know
what’s edible versus just green,
and it’s my job to guide

as the hills release their glow, and we are on the return
leg of the ride where the corral and good hay await,
and I’ll dismount, saddle sore but fully alive
to return to the schoolroom tomorrow,
with faith (mostly) that I’ll go home again.


Betsy Mars is a prize-winning poet, a photographer, and publishes an occasional anthology through Kingly Street Press. She is an assistant editor at Gyroscope Review. Poetry publications include Rise Up Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, New Verse News, Sky Island, and Minyan. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee. Betsy’s photos have been featured in RATTLE’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Spank the Carp, Praxis, and Redheaded Stepchild. She is the author of Alinea and co-author of In the Muddle of the Night with Alan Walowitz.