Danbury, Connecticut was my birth city. I can't say hometown since I didn't spend much time there as an infant. My photographer friend, Sheila Ryan DeBold, was also born there and lived there many years after I was long gone. Sheila and I collaborated on a book called: "Encore - The Poetry of Nature. Her photographs and my poetry. To me it was a match made perfect.
One day we were discussing memories of Danbury and Sheila mentioned a winter experience when she was a child. I loved the story and "Sleigh Ride" was the result.
A weathered barn in withered red,
stands clear with in memory,
and every time it starts to snow
old thoughts return to Danbury.
It was a barn like no other,
mystic, magic, somehow serene
With tack and harness set in place,
yet something else that can't be seen.
An inner warmth, an eminence,
an aura shine you cannot view,
perhaps the light of keeper's soul
the one who mends and tends unto.
This heart of his and equine heat
oft' stays the cold of winter's sting
and keeps the frost from off the bells
that trim the reins and give the ring.
In boarded stall, the horses sense
the quiet fall of downy flake.
They paw the straw and perk an ear
and gently give their heads a shake.
Across the way, past field white,
'top harvest chaff and stubble hay,
children question with excitement,
"Sir, are you hitching up the sleigh?"
The words were quick with pure delight,
"The team is set to trot the snow",
said the smiling friendly neighbor,
a child too, who wants to go.