Frankie McMillan


The lower ranked horse

My father said a horse
and himself made a herd

a struggle for position
which could be signalled

by a mere flick of an ear
the cocking of an eye

or the tremble of a lip
he was no horse whisperer

he used a lunge, beat their
sides with a whip to light them up

but tender with their hooves
on cold nights he led them inside

the stallion stood beside the kitchen fire
raising a hoof for my father to file



Frankie McMillan is a short story writer and poet. She is the author of The Bag Lady’s Picnic and other stories and a poetry collection, Dressing for the Cannibals. Recent poetry has appeared in Turbine, Sport, JAAM, Snorkel, Trout, The Cincinnati Review and Shenandoah.