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About Randal O'Rourke
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Man, I hated Saturdays.
The reason was, of course,
A Reader’s Digest version
Of what some might call a horse.

Grandpa called him Chestnut, but
When Grandpa wasn’t near,
The names I called that critter
Cannot be repeated here.

If someone tells you Shetlands
Are for children, it’s a myth.
That overgrown Chihuahua
Was a beast to reckon with.

Saturday would find me in
The field, with reins in hand;
Thinking this was not the kind
Of Saturday I’d planned.

”Show the thing who’s boss”, Gramps once
Suggested, “Use some force.”
But I already knew, it was
That tiny psycho horse.

A horse, they claim, is built to ride,
But not that surly mutt.
I mapped the local landscape
Using nothing but my “butt”.

Fence to fence, I flew with ease,
The air my faithful friend.
The earth a dreaded enemy
When time came to descend.

Once a week, my dignity
was handily misplaced,
And strewn across the pasture,
First just bruised, but then erased.

When hope was lost, fate stepped in
And stilled that equine gnome.
Beelzebub arrived one June
And took that devil home.

A rooster crowed the eulogy
As Chestnut’s voice was hushed.
I hung my head, to hide the smile,
Pretending I was crushed.

August went without a hitch,
A month of revelry.
My ego healed, the bruises now
A distant memory.

Early in September Gramps was
Spinning some tall yarn,
And I was lost in daydream
As we sauntered to the barn.

”Oh, by the way”, his grin was sly,
”I got a gift for you.”
He pointed to the stall and said,
”I call him…Chestnut II.”

© 2012, Randal O'Rourke
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.


Randal comments: Generations of tradition had taught my grandfather that if you were thrown by a horse you needed, figuratively and literally, to get right back on. Up until my arrival this, and a host of other useful platitudes, had served Grandpa well, all of his grandchildren being quick learners. So, when he brought Chestnut home I’m certain he hadn’t anticipated spending the next couple of years retrieving me from various corners of the property.

I eventually learned to ride, but still, occasionally, have nightmares about that wicked Shetland pony…and his successor.


    About Randal O'Rourke
        provided 2014

Randal O’Rourke was born and raised in a rural section of the eastern Central Plains, known for its rolling hills, lush wooded areas and humidity. Moving west with his two sons in the mid '80s he rediscovered the importance of family and full-time employment, the true nature of love and the benefits of a dryer climate.

When he tires of reality you can find him in, or, where humidity is virtually nonexistent.




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