I’m preparing my style portfolio for Shirey and wanted a different style immitation piece, so I did this. It follows the opening paragraph of Alice McDermott’s excellent novel At Weddings And Wakes. Just for the record, my take on this is slightly autobiographical.

Four times a week in every week of summer, except for the third week of June and the second of July, his rider fastened Sailor’s tack, the well-worn, oil-softened leathers of the animal’s long past show days, smelling of horse musk and salt, on whose white leather trim the pores were clogged with dirt in defiance of a careful wipe-down after every ride, and with Sailor fidgeting his hind legs or dropping his massive jaw heavily on her shoulder like a jaded sage, she fumbled with the permanently wrinkled black noseband and tightened the drop twice before, in a brief but exact impression of a child flinging on his backpack at the end of the school day, she flipped the reigns forward over his head with relief, stepped down to the dusty asphalt aisle, clucked, and said, “Come on, buddy. Let’s go.”

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