Today’s prompt is to use the five senses. Watch out: we’re going to get dirty.
Time to unhair the horse of her winter coat,
time to uncrust the mud from her mane and legs.
To start, rub the rubber curry comb around
and around and around on her itching withers where
her winter blanket stretched and dug, and back
along her spine and down her barrel. Next,
curry gently on the belly, legs,
and flank to break up mats and hard-caked mud.
Rub back and sides again to pick up more
of the hair you loosened there. Keep circling:
now croup and haunches. If your shoulder aches,
you’re doing the job right. Just switch the curry
to your other hand. By now, you wear as much
loose horse hair as the horse, and you, too, smell
like the bedding of her stall. Then, go around
and repeat all this on the horse’s other side.
Satisfying, isn’t it, to see the clumps
of dirt disintegrate and drift away,
even though some lodges in your nose and mouth?
Next, take your medium-stiff bristle brush,
and starting from the necktop, whisk and flick
in short brushstrokes. Every eight or ten,
sift the brush through the currycomb, held in
your other hand, to clear the bristles. Brush
one area until no more dust flicks up,
or the horse begins to shift from irritation.
Then proceed until your arms and wrists agree
this horse is clean, or, for now, clean enough.