Riding After Her

by Vivian M. Carroll


In a grainy black-and-white movie

          my mother waves

                    from a white horse.

She could be Georgia O’Keeffe

         astride a Harley.

Naming me after a bird & flower,

she sprinkled atlas seeds on my eyes,

left blank pages for me to paint.


A sunset journey pulls her away.

Tracing her roots I drive east.



          deer-eye daisies nod.

Thistle spikes

          bloom shadows

                    across rusted rails.

A red-wing blackbird’s

          three-pitch song trills

          time-to-stop, time-to-stop.


Fireflies garland indigo skies.

          Nautilus curved

                    my mother sleeps

                    on a birch bark bed.


At dawn

          I throttle through pale pink,

          music hubbing

                    around an old 8-track.


Chevelle tires spin, clomp, gallop.

Hooves scoop out dust trails.


Hunched to horsehide

          I ride bareback

wind rippling a white mane.