When you find yourself on the back of a stubbornly glum mule, don’t expect her to prance joyfully up the hillside. She is trained for tasks. Head down, one foot
in front of the other is her gospel. She may not like the load—she may not like you—but it’s what she knows. She is your creature for now and a loyal one.
Still you can visit the field where the dappled gray mare grazes. You can feed her sweet apples and with patience and great care run your hand along her white blaze.
You are allowed to dream of galloping across the field, riding in balance, moving at your best, tartans billowing behind you.
You’ll never get
from mule to mare
without this conjuring.
drinking the wind
and holding fast
to her silvery mane
Photo by Annie Spratt