I Should Have Been A Horse Girl

For Red

Scarlett Peterson

Stop laughing. I say this
because I dream often
of their long faces, the
Egyptian Arabian my
father rented for me—
gone when he couldn’t
afford her anymore, spending
too much on the lawyers,
in the hopes of me. I’d
ridden bareback, small,
holding to her mane, not
enough weigh to me
to hurt her. I should have
known then I’d grow up
to love women, should have
known I’d want always
to go horseback riding,
the slick ponytail of it,
to know the process of
putting shoes on their
hooves. Tonight I lay
in a farmhouse, no horse
penned near, looked up
and saw a horseshoe nailed
to the wall. A symbol.
A reminder of all the lives
I could have lived if
things had been different.


Author Bio

Scarlett Peterson

Scarlett Peterson is poet, essayist, and lesbian. She is currently working on her PhD at Georgia State University. She received her MFA at Georgia College. Her work can be found in Moon City Review, The Lavender Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Peculiar, Pidgeonholes, Gargoyle Magazine, Ponder Review, Madcap Review, Counterclock Journal, The Shore, Poetry Online, Skink Beat Review, Eunoia Review, and more.