Another childhood writing inspired by a visit to New Orleans.
THE ZEBRA HACK
by Carol Fullerton-Samsel
The carriage nag with chiseled frame
Wears leather halters that inflame
Its sculptured ribs and bony spine;
Thus to its lowly task confined,
The spindly mare with muscles tense
Hauls tourists with indifference
Along the roads that are routine
And over streets with deep ravines.
‘Til early morn the stilled beast works,
But from its task it does not shirk.
And when the beast seems most hard-pressed,
There comes at last a time to rest.
The horse is placed within its stall,
And aged crags within the wall
Allow the moon’s pale misty beams
To filter through and flow in streams
Across the floor and up the mare,
To give the hack a zebra’s wear.
The creature sleeps, but dreams of things
Like cold steel bits and rawhide’s sting.
Exhaust from stagnant traffic gores
At tender nostrils that ignore
Its pungent odor and its bite
As worn hooves clap throughout the night.