As we welcome another year, I wanted to re-read this poem myself and share it with you.  Entitled “When I am an Old Horsewoman,” it was written by Patty Barnhart and originally published in The Arabian Horse World Magazine, twenty years ago.

When I am an old horsewoman

I shall wear turquoise and diamonds

And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me

And I shall spend my social security on

white wine and carrots,

And sit in my alleyway of my barn

And listen to my horses breathe.

I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night

And ride the old bay gelding,

Across the moonstruck meadow

If my old bones will allow

And when people come to call, I will smile and nod

As I walk past the gardens to the barn

and show instead the flowers growing

inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.

I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair

as if it were a jewel

And I will be an embarrassment to all

Who will not yet have found the peace in being free

to have a horse as a best friend

A friend who waits at midnight hour

With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes

For the kind of woman I will be

When I am old.

Thank you, Patty, for generously allowing reprinting of your poem, so it may be shared with so many.

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