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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?

"No horseman or horsewoman has ever finished learning" - Mary Gordon-Watson