The weather on Sunday was just right for lingering at the corner stall. And for offering one, two, three peppermint treats and for letting my horse lick peppermint sprinkles from my palm. He was clean, still damp from his first spring bath, and with a belly full of clover, chickweed, and dandelion leaves. Thick crumbs of his white winter coat traced our path from the crossties to his corner stall.
The weather on Sunday was just right for facing the yard. Like always, I waited for him to turn away, nose put to corner. His way of good-bye. Only, he lingered, too, on Sunday. We watched the field, the woods, and the mares way down yonder, across the road nearly to the horizon. A yellow tiger swallowtail lit along the fence and all along the yard.
I leaned my back against his stall gate on the side of his good eye, his only eye. Good because it’s still in its socket, though the midnight blue iris lets nothing in. He only sees what he remembers or imagines. So, I stood there with him, and he tilted his good blind eye close to me. His only eye.
What did he see?
I saw my citrus shirt and my cheeks filled with joy and my eyes made small by my reflected grin. I stood, smiling in the light he remembered and imagined. My heart hurt. My chest hurt. Like when I held my newborn daughter and looked into her mountain blue eyes. Like when my dying grammy held me, and I looked into her radiant blue eyes. Like that time I held my pointer out to a dragonfly and said out loud, “Hop up here on my finger. Let me look into your turquoise eyes.” And that bug prayed on my finger for a long time.
So, we turned toward the butterflies and killdeer. While the sunlight shifted lemon to amber, we faced the mare field. My blind horse rested his head on my shoulder. And, he fell asleep there on me, for a good long time.