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When I am an Old Horsewoman

Published: 11/11/2011
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When I am an Old Horsewoman

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.

-By Patty Barnhart

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11/11/2011 KAthy CArpenter
What a beautiful wonderful poem! It is one of the best that I have read. It paints an image in the mind that portrays a kinder and very special place for both human and horse. Patty created a portrait of life for aging folks that many horse lovers would love to live. Thank you Patty Barnhart!
11/11/2011 sarah
Thats the way i want to be...
11/11/2011 Linda
Beautiful, I think all us horse women want that.
11/11/2011 Meris J.
Fabulous piece that resonates with this already old horsewoman . . .
11/11/2011 Kathie Tuck
Oh so beautiful. Brings a teary smile
6/23/2012 Marsha Craig
What a "feel good" poem! Just turned 66 and I got one mini horse. I can relate to your poem and it sure warms my heart. Thank you for sharing it with us.
7/18/2013 Delcie
I can so much relate to this. It makes me think of myself and the many many other horse women I know that share the same feelings. To not know the companionship of a horse is to have one's soul unawakened.
Iam seventy. My wonderful horses range in age from thirty to fifteen, all five. Each morning I hope my health will continue to enable me to care for them another day, another night, until their times come. Thank you for this beautiful poem; it gently helps my family understand the decisions that I have made that mold the person I am while my mares, my stallion and I grow old together.
2/13/2014 Sue Berger
Thank you, Patty Barnhart, for this lovely poem. I am not a horse person, but a very dear friend, Joanna Jenkins, was. This writing reminds me of her and your words could be hers.
1/31/2015 Barb
I love this poem. That is what I will be like when I am old. I am getting there now but still love my horses.
8/28/2015 Bonnie
i would like learn more about Patty Barnhart, does have more work. I would love to read it. I can not find anything about her. can anyone help please?

"While there are many things you can fake in life, pretending that you know horses when you don't isn't one of them" - Cooky McClung