Muttered old, wise Granny Wambe, feeling my forehead and poking a gland, Tis the Quenders!, I think it. She made a batch of wild strawberry extract, I was pinned down by her wiry arm and made drink it… When I shade my eyes against the sun, these times I see him young and strong. He strides what has to be Elysian Fields. No need for lead rope in hand, in the distance heads raised, a herd of horses, a wild band! Out from the group trots a pony gray, greets the vagabond as friend, they cross the braided river together, they will follow its every bend.
Jump on my back, I’ll take you home, to the child you used to be…and child again he found himself, very small. Down, down he dove in the crystal sea. Seahorse was there, calling, calling, come ride, gallop through the waves with me. Fearless, he did on his horse of white, all who were shore side told of the sight, a rainbow created from water so clear, they race beneath it and disappear.
The horses of stone were the next he met, standing at dawn, like an ancient circlet. The largest stepped forward, in a bound he hopped on, noblest of all, the Percheron. Broad of back, kind, gentle of ways, we are in no hurry the gelding nickered, for where we journey, the days are just days.
Ember mare, legs and mane singed black, one ear forward, one ear cocked back, calls to the vagabond, sit astride, to the cool, wet oasis we will ride. Under the stars sleep by your side, I am the horse born of fire. Trust in my strength I shall not tire.
Horse of the earth, grazed on the wide meadow, ranged the valley paths low. Knee deep in spring grass, piebald, sorrel and roan. She called, “I will not come near, I am no ones to tame or call own”. “From barrier island to mesa I am free, but close tired eyes vagabond, thus you will ride beside me. Only in dreams we will roam fence less range, ride in your dreams beside me..
..There is a place he once spoke of to me, spoke of when he was gone he hoped to see, rainbow’s other side, dreamed Godfrey. On the great, black sky horse, rumble down from the mountains, on hooves of lightning ride, unafraid of the prairie rain, I will leave as tracks across the plain, tracks of mosaics of horses.
I made a mosaic of horses when I was seven, a week I was ill with The Quenders and had to stay home. . I tore pages from Ma’s knitting magazines and her old “Woman’s Own”. Sick with the Grue, with scissors and glue, on a big piece of cardboard, (the side of a box). I created horses, every color and size, with white blazes on faces and shaggy fetlocks.
When I was ill, Ma would usually grouse, make me promise not to die in the house, lest she be blamed. But oddly, she really liked my mosaic, she saved up the money to have it framed. And framed it was hung on our cottage wall, above the kitchen door. “Leave it be, Ma warned sister Alice, “One day it will all I have of Godfrey, a mosaic of horses that ran through our family.