My Old Saddle
Like a heavy rose in silver and leather
Every stitch a life, thirty-three pounds
In cow hide, veined by fields
In the foothills of Alberta,
Reined and grained by waving wheat,
Watered by a woodland creek,
Nourished by the mouths of cattle,
Shaped by the hands of an artist
Tooled in flower and leaf.
That old saddle
Mule, rider, and saddle;
Taut in a padded, black suede seat
Relaxed, eager and ready,
Flanked by silver studded eyes
That smiled skyward
From that chestnut leather,
Golden, with that hard horn of happiness
Freedom in that roping saddle,
With a good and gentle cantle.
From that soft arising swell
Of vibrant, equine, musty smell.
The saddle lathered as
My mule’s back swam in padded fleece
Muscles floating the saddle from underneath.
The side skirts swelled
Buckles and stirrups yelled
The trail ride refrain
We’re doing it again!