Ode To An Amazon

by Julie Raymond


I could already see her.

A blaze white down the front of her face.

The marking curled out across her muzzle in the shape of a labrys.

‘My dad was really into horses.’

The simple beginning thread of my friends story.

The spirit of equus spoke to me too.

Velvet nose, breathing her own experience, into my ears.


She was the color of fire.

Flames from deep in the earth ran straight through her.

Scorching the marrow in every bone.

Smoldering in her heart.

Magma in her veins.

Her eyes, polished black pools, glistening liquid embers.


She couldn’t be anything else.

She wasn’t capable of surrender.

She was Queen, Leader, and Alpha of her tribe.

She was an expert linguist of gestures.


Emancipated always.

She didn’t want warm oats,


A deeply bedded stall to sleep in.

Nine summers bred.

Eight healthy foals taken from her before she was ready.

A thousand demands for absolute submission.

‘One day,’ my friend continued, ‘he decided it was time to break a mare.’

He’d had enough of her.

Today she’d surrender.


‘So, he put a rope around her neck and tied it to a post.’

Shame steals across my friends face.

He watched


He’d get the better of her this time.


She took a step backward.


The rope strangled tight around her throat.

Conflagration of terror

Fight or flight?


The desperate primal struggle,

For freedom,

For air,

For release.

Lolling tongue swelling thick like a salmon half.

Trembling exhausted muscles.


She wet herself,

Lost her bowels,

Fell heavy into the mud,

Drained from every cell.


‘The mare died,’ my friend concluded.

The raging wave of disgust overwhelming my soul was dammed

I was baffled by a nauseatingly simple question I had to ask,

‘Why, didn’t he cut the rope?’

Holding back,

idiot fucker!



‘We were on top of the hill watching.  He couldn’t get to her on time.’

I looked at my hands, lying clenched in my lap.

Tears flowing, I couldn’t stop them.

‘That’s not horsemanship,’ I squeezed out.

Holding back,

Life long questions about the humanity of humanity.

Reflecting on the story she just told,

‘It was always like she didn’t want to be broken,’

I finally looked up, into her eyes and said, ‘She didn’t.  She wasn’t.’

I had to ask, ‘Was she sorrel with a big white blaze and white socks?’