When I visited my childhood home last week,
          I could see you in the windows of our stone farmhouse
          with your pink glasses and tiny eyes . . .
          No, you weren’t ever that small, but that’s how I see you
          now, as small as Thumbelina, and our house too, and the barns
          where the horses and chickens slept, where the kittens
          and foals were born each spring. Once, when the horses kicked
          their stalls and whinnied in the night, you ran barefoot in the dark
          with a flashlight to check on them, and back in bed, unable to sleep
          and out of breath, you wrote, Dear Future in script, imagining
          me now. That was the night Dad’s horse, Ella, died. We phoned
          the vet, but by the time he arrived, Ella was dead. You tried
          to think of other things, like how you wanted to grow up and be
          a horse, or the fastest runner on earth, or the best high jumper.
          That’s what you wished for on every birthday, star,
          and on every point of the pie which you saved to eat last
          because otherwise your wish wouldn’t come true-at least according to Dad.
          And you practiced eating grass, whinnying and trotting,
          cantering and galloping before jumping all the horse jumps
          one by one.┬áSometimes you fell and skinned your knees
          or banged your head, but you kept practicing until your legs ached,
          and you were soaked with sweat. But still you couldn’t sleep.
          Dear Future Me, you wrote in entry after entry. Please come back.
          Please don’t forget. Write about me. Write about the horse I am. Or almost                                                                                                                                             am
          Only make me prettier. And fast. Back then you didn’t love you very much
          and hoped I’d make you better after the fact. Which is strange,
          I think, for a child. Strange also to be an insomniac, already
          staring out the window at the dark, afraid of sickness and death
          and old age, already picturing yourself as an old woman looking back
          or down, like an owl swooping over the fields of the past,
          memories like scared mice scampering through the grass
 
 
 
 
 
NIN ANDREWS is the author of five full-length collections of poetry and six chapbooks. Her next book, Why God Is a Woman, is forthcoming from BOA Editions.