On First Encountering a Stallion

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In a dust-clouded paddock, a summer stallion,
Not midnight black but deepest brown,
Rolled one eye, expressive and defiant,
Cautiously curious and determined to be dominant.
Tendering my trembling fingers, open
Palm of one hand in silent supplication,
I kept the other in my jacket,
Shuffling cubes of sugar in a pocket,
Relishing the sweet sting of anticipation.
Startled and skittering from a sudden motion
In the wide-angle vision of his other eye,
Both ears were pricked, his head held high.
I pursed my lips into a breathless pucker,
Whistled gently until I heard a nicker,
Watched his muscles ripple in a shimmering gloss
As he lowered his head to bring me into focus
And pressed his firm-lipped whiskery muzzle
Into my hand in the gentlest nuzzle.

© Kim M. Russell, 2016

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