The Memory of It

Twitching withers and self-bloated belly
try to thwart saddle-positioning, yet she lowers head to accept bridle.

Belle Amie swaggers under me with a swish,
swish of leather between my own sore stifles.

I ride her bit back and forth –inside rein, outside rein –
and she abides with a bowed forelock and soft spine.

Milkish spittle coats her mouth and drops to sawdust, clogging hooves
as my hands and legs request a certain stride.

Leaping over cross-rails, I drop heels in stirrups to quiet saddle-seat undulations.
I am careful not to offend her gait, yet a subtle buck follows my subtle crop.

Nodding her head in thanks after carrots,
chomping a flake of hay and molasses oats,

a neck that barely fits my hug, her scratch-my-nose nudge...
even the memory of it pleases me.

Janee J. Baugher's picture

Janée J. Baugher, a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and Bread Loaf Conference participant, holds a B.S. in Applied Physiology from Boston University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University. A former poetry editor for Willow Springs magazine and Switched-on Gutenberg online journal, Baugher is an associate editor for StringTown magazine (Spokane, WA). Baugher regularly collaborates with visual artists, composers, and choreographers, with recent collaborations having been produced at University of Cincinnati–Conservatory of Music, Interlochen Center for the Arts (Interlochen, MI), and Dance Now! Ensemble (Miami Beach, FL). Baugher is the author of the collection of ekphrastic and travel poems, Coördinates of Yes (Ahadada Books), and in 2011 she presented her work at the Library of Congress. Her current projects include a collection of water-themed lyric essays and a collection of human-anatomy-physiology-influenced poems. Baugher lives in Seattle where she teaches Creative Writing and Literature at Richard Hugo House and University of Phoenix. For more information, visit:

Last updated October 22, 2011