Nevada City: Horses

I woke 
from my near-sleep
in the sleeping bag
to bright moonlight
not moving.

or something
stood behind my head.

My neck sensed
hot breathing,
my ears
a long, low soughing.

As slowly as I could
I turned and saw
enormous nostrils
pulsing slowly
out and in,
above the fluttering lips
of a horse’s mouth,
before large observing eyes.

It stood on tiptoe
legs leaning forward
neck stretched long
flipping fretful ears
straining sniffs
of me.

The softest possible “Hello”
sent it bolting
with the rest
of the herd.

As the thunder thunder
thunder thunder thunder
thump thump thump
tut tut tut
grew fainter fainter,
brave Lochinvar
crawled from hiding
between Dave’s bag and mine
and gave yappy chase
to vanished ghosts.