“I Woke Up and You Were Gone” by Emma Miller

Wake me up from this dream.

She can’t be gone.

Pleading, begging, tossing and turning,

rest drained me as much as the events of the day.


How quickly warm Breath of life flies home

and cold Death creeps in,

wielding a blunt knife

sliding straight into my gut.


That night, it was only hours before

I held her heavy head in my lap.

Kissing her soft muzzle, running my fingers

through her dusty mane.


Trying to keep her cool under the shade

to be more comfortable.

She labored in the heat.

Shooing the flies away from her mouth.


Death is ugly, surreal.

Burial with large machinery and chill soil.

Years are said to blur the sharp memories.

They don’t.


They don’t remove pain. Pictures still hang everywhere I look

and her saddle sits in the house.

Piles of blankets that smell of her

sit useless on the tack box.


Some days are filled with remembrances.

Bright days we stood together in the sun,

cold days I buried my face in her long coat and

warmed my hands under her blanket.


Some nights I relive the day

I lost my horse,

the morning I put her to rest,

and every moment of painful loss thereafter.


Sometimes I remember the love

and warm breath blowing on my cheek.

Those soft brown eyes, her muzzle resting on my forehead.

She’s not gone. But I still haven’t woken up.

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