Photo Challenge: Textures


She was a coyote fighter, moving 
just off the herd, across the high
desert prairie. Buying her calves 
time to get back to their mothers,
she stood her ground, mouth gaping

open, bellowing loud enough to 
insult a shy predator into slinking 
away. No one wants to be called out
with such blunt confidence. But the  
calves have all grown and passed on
a decade ago. The ranch was parceled 
away leaving her no ground to stand for; 
the last gelding gone to children. Even 
her teeth have expired leaving hollow 
jaw bones barely disguised by coarse hair. 

She brings an abiding wealth of survival 
wisdom along to my small stretch of farm
and she has no way to be useless, so now
she brays at house dogs. She guards what
her cloudy eyes can make out of the horizon
from inside a woven field fence. Coyotes still 
lurk behind tall weeds, testing her boundaries. 
Do not doubt us, predator, as we turn to face
you. We have survived your kind and we know
our worth. We will always stand for our own.

Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)


38 thoughts on “Photo Challenge: Textures

  1. Another Old Gray Mare

    Praise God for old Burros who keep fighting the good fight and thankful for you “the old gray mare” who watches over the herd!

  2. As a horsewoman in the last few chapter of my life, your poem resonates with me; I see myself with long ears and a shaggy beard and think to myself, who shall love me in such a state. I wonder too, did my voice chase the coyotes away or did they run to fool me into thinking I had a purpose in life.

  3. Patti Embry-Tautenhan

    Thank you for this piece. It may well be yet my favorite poem of yours. I love how you honor and respect those in your care. I am confronting the undeniable truth that years pass and changes accumulate… That knowledge makes me love, more than ever, the fierceness and bravery in her heart. In the immortal words of Bruce Springsteen, “No retreat, baby, no surrender.”

  4. Julie Wallace

    There’s just nothing like a donkey bray. I’m so very pleased she gets to sing still, and in the company of other equines. You, Anna, the tolerant caregiver, consistently deliver such words of grace about her sassiness. Reading about Lilith, and all the other old souls in your life, is something I relish. Thank you.

  5. A teacher of incredible experience and wisdom. I’m glad she’s got you to do for her what she did for all those calves – watch over her. She’s a blessing.

  6. Maggie Frazier

    How great is it that this little old creature FINALLY got to her true home with all of her buds! Sure does bring tears to my eyes. There are so many many others who never are able to get there!

  7. Sarah Jackson

    I am completely enchanted with this photo, AND I like your words also. … Thank you, Anna, for keeping on keeping on ! Just like she does…..

  8. Pingback: Texture: Grass | What's (in) the picture?

  9. Dianna Stephens

    Beautiful…do you mind if I copy it and post it in my office? If she brays is she a mule or donkey? And do you write from an experience?

    1. Dianna, yes, donkeys bray. And you are welcome to copy it, with my name on it. This is from experience. The donkey is Lilith, almost 40, and she came into rescue seriously failing. She came here and took a turn for the better. Now I think she might oulive me. Thanks, Dianna.

  10. The power of the mirrors that reflect what the eye sees to that box of words that shine upon that palate releasing the colors that paint me that beautiful image of the Coyote fighter. Thank You Anna

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