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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 3, September 2012

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Elizabeth Howard
Crossville, Tennessee, USA


White Horse Mountain

Fine Hereford cattle once grazed in the meadows of this farm, and an apple orchard, famous for its McIntoshes, covered the hillside. But the farm got its name from the show horses born in the stables, trained in the paddocks, honored in winners’ circles far and wide. For years now, the land has been neglected, the owner in a senior home, his children faraway, busy with other concerns. They sold the horses and cattle when their father fell and shattered his hip. A tornado ripped apart the apple trees and scattered the white Colonial-style house across the countryside. The barns are jumbles of rusty tin and rotten boards.

deepening sunset
one perfect apple
on a scaly bough

Sapling by sapling, the forest is reclaiming meadow, orchard, the manicured lawn. Wild animals once again roam free, reestablishing their domain as it was before the first clear-cutting. When old men gather at the general store, they ponder how quickly the land has returned to the wild. They talk of Herefords and McIntoshes, but their favorite subject is the show horses. Often the hero of their tales is Augustus, a champion white stallion that stood on the hill overlooking his kingdom, his screams of challenge and triumph ringing far and wide.

eerie echoes
the dominant elk’s
shrill bugle

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