I shall wear diamonds
And a wide-brimmed straw hat
With silver and leather on it …
and I shall spend my social security
On white wine and carrots
And sit in the alley of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.
I will sneak out in the middle of a summers’ night
And ride the chestnut mare
Across the moonstruck meadow.
If my old bones will allow.
When people come to call I will smile and nod
As I walk them past the gardens to the barn
And show, instead, the beauty growing there
In stalls fresh-lined with straw.
I will shovel and sweat and
Wear hay in my hair as if it were a jewel.
And I will be an embarrassment to all
Who look down on me.
They’ve not yet found the peace in being free
To love a horse as a friend,
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With nuzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be,
When I am old.
Old Cowgirl by Patty Barnhart
Originally published in The Arabian Horse World magazine in 1992.