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Fiction and Poetry Contest

“Pony Funerals”

Poetry, First Place

The first blizzard came early in not quite December
Clinging wet to the roof of the pony barn, it waited all night bearing down
Before dawn the timbers gave up
Killing the ponies where they slept


After five days of waking to the picture of the flattened barn
The tractors were freed
Her father and the men hauled the ponies one by one
To a grave in the far away field
Their bent and frozen bodies hanging by chains from the backhoe
Swinging in their winter sleep
She watched from the window, singing prayers
For she knew them each by name


Spring thawed quickly that year
The frozen hillsides spilled the creeks over the muddy fields
The pony grave was dug too shallow, the earth giving them up to the flooding
And one morning, walking solemn to the far away field, she found them
Muddy eyes pleading, reaching towards home
Their tongues glistened as they tasted the spring and the new made sun


Running to the farmhouse, she heard the crows begin to gather

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