Sinking further into the mud
with every effort to escape,
she is trapped,
lying on her side,
muzzle barely above the water.
She lies for hours
before help arrives.

But how to drag
near a ton of horse
from the treacherous drying dam?

Machines are summoned –
tractor, excavator.
But struggling, she sinks further.
Nose now under water,
there is no time for a sling,
in desperation a rope under her jaw,
around her neck,
to the tractor.

Gently, gently…
and with a great sucking pop
she is free.
Her imprint in the mud
slowly fills with water,
like a plaster mould
for making a horse.

Still lying on her side,
water gushing from her nose,
she is out of the mud
but not out of the woods.
The vet stands by the tractor
rifle in hand.

But she snorts, staggers,
and stands.

I wrote this a while ago, during the drought when my neighbour’s dam was almost dry and one of her Clydesdales got stuck in the mud. I wasn’t actually there for it, but I got the story over gin and tonic afterwards. I’m posting this for dVerse open link night. It feels like it’s sat waiting long enough.


Filed under poem

33 responses to “mud

  1. Chilling, but with a happy/standing ending. Good work.

  2. Wow – she sounds like a true survivor! A dramatic tale, captivatingly told.

  3. Oh my! Difficult to read, harder to watch, I imagine.

  4. I love the way you’ve described this, Kate. I could almost hear that great sucking pop, and see the mould fill with water. Such an awful experience for the horse but I can’t help admiring what a concise resolved poem this is πŸ™‚

  5. Beverly Crawford

    What a dramatic tale! Thanks for sharing …. and YAY for the horse!

  6. Great story!!!! I am glad that she ends up still standing.

  7. Yes, great story and told with such economy. You paint a vivid picture!

  8. Out of the mud, but not out of the woods! you had me holding my breath. πŸ‘πŸ™‚

  9. Oh wow! So thankful for those last two lines. A very gripping write.

  10. Hard to keep a tough old girl like her down. Thank goodness someone was paying attention and got the rescuers there in time. That was an edge-of-your-seat narrative, Kate. I’m glad the witness/teller and the listener were both medicated. Cheers!

  11. Oh, I’m happy that show made it all the way to the end.

  12. Oh, wow β€” you captured the tension magnificently, Kate! And that secondary climax, just when I let my emotional guard down… Excellent! I also like the staccato sounds of the last sentence and the terminal rhyme. πŸ‘πŸ»

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