I Ride Horses When I’m Sleeping

I ride horses when I’m sleeping…

Horseback riding is one of those things I always wanted to do but never could. As a little girl, my best friend would get off our bus at a horse farm and take vaulting lessons once a week. I watched longingly from the window as she walked toward the barns. Sometimes I went with her and sat to the side, watching but never allowed to participate. My family couldn’t afford for me to ride horses. Once, my friend’s family took me with them on a trail ride at the YMCA and it is one of my favorite memories in the world.

When I think of happiness and freedom, I think of riding a horse.

When we first moved to Tupelo, we were renters, on the lookout for a home to buy. I fell in love with a specific house that I drove past daily. It was out of our price range, but I couldn’t shake my need for it.

Why did I love that house so much?

It backed up to a horse farm.

I could have sat on my couch and watched horses out the big back window. I saw myself sipping coffee, writing in my journal, watching the horses…

We bought a different house. I gave up on the horses.

This month, our theme has been (Re)Plenish. I’m in a hard place as a parent and as a person right now. I’m struggling emotionally and not doing a good job of replenishing myself. Or, rather, my attempts at replenishing myself feel a bit like pouring buckets of water into a black hole. I’m never ever ever gonna fill that sucker up.

One thing I am trying is a class on writing flash fiction. Flash fiction is daunting to me, as are short stories.

In between book projects, this is something I like to do… take writing classes, read books on writing, and – most importantly – write something different. Last year, I took a free poetry writing class through Open Courses. Today, I reread the pieces I wrote during that class, and when I came across this one, I knew I had to share it.

Maybe, one day, I will ride horses while I’m waking

 

How Do You (re)Plenish?

I ride horses when I’m sleeping.
They are strong dark horses, and I
am long and lean against them,
my body held tight, fingers tangled in
soot mane, black hair,
our hearts both pounding
against the green of graves.

I saw myself dreaming
from a window in the house where shadows lurked.
I closed my eyes tight like hands on leather reigns,
and I pretended not to see
the phantom creatures coming…
bearing down on me.

Now a mother, a lover, a woman,
I open my dark eyes and choose
to saddle fear.
I break free on wild horses,
long and lean against them,
my body held tight, fingers tangled in
soot mane, black hair.

We are racing. We are are flying. We are hauling
battered hope
from ancient graves.

I saw myself dreaming.
I ride horses when I’m sleeping.

Heather Truett
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Heather Truett

I drink Sweet Cream in my coffee. My DVR is set to record Doctor Who, Grey's Anatomy, and The Walking Dead. I have a serious chapstick addiction, a history of purple/blue/green hair styles, tattoos on my left ankle and my right foot, a whole solar system of freckles, and I may or may not spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince my kids I am a Time Lady from Gallifrey.
Heather Truett
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Latest posts by Heather Truett (see all)

About Heather Truett

I drink Sweet Cream in my coffee. My DVR is set to record Doctor Who, Grey's Anatomy, and The Walking Dead. I have a serious chapstick addiction, a history of purple/blue/green hair styles, tattoos on my left ankle and my right foot, a whole solar system of freckles, and I may or may not spend an inordinate amount of time trying to convince my kids I am a Time Lady from Gallifrey.

  • I used to ride weekly as a kid. Haven’t done so since then though.

    • I fantasize about taking lessons now. Lots of horse farms where we are moving. I doubt we can afford it, but maybe I will find a church member with horses.

  • horses actually scare me. I think it’s their siZe.

    I have a re-occurig dream of being 8 and flying all over Oak Mountain State Park…. With my magical pink hula hoop that enables me to fly. (I can’t make this stuff up. I have the strangest dream life.)

    • Strange dreams run in both sides of my family. Corey swears I smoke before bed. These horses actually first appeared while I was awake, but everyone insisted there were no horses. I always assumed they were ghosts. Now, at 33, I realize maybe they were real horses and it was coincidence that I happened to look out the window while no one else was.

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