Barn Dust

I think of barn dust
and the running of cats
each breath a steam-jet
in the chill of morning air
mine and theirs
the smell of horses all around me
oaty sweetness inhaled
I warm myself leaning
against a shaggy flank
perhaps to brush
perhaps to saddle
more often just to share
whispered in the dawn
the secrets of hay and hooves

(Winter, 1994)