A Dark Horse Runs at Night
by Myron Berdahl
Standing at his bedside, she watches the old man's life slip away.
"It's okay, Grandpa.", she says, holding back tears.
She wonders what he is thinking, as he stares out the window into the dark of night.
"Hey Johnny, where you going?"
Before I could answer, my mate was being guided into a tavern by one of the local whores. These self-indulgent port calls were sucking the life out of me. I needed to get away.
I had been walking for what seemed like hours, and the dark of night was upon me. The ominous cloud cover made it difficult to find my way, and I felt utterly alone. Where was I? And, that's when it happened.
The moon broke through the cloud cover. The grassy field and clump of trees beyond were swaying in the wind. And, out in the middle of it all stood a black mare staring back at me.
She lifts up her front legs and kicks them into the wind. She shakes her head back, and lets out a bellowing neigh. She gallops effortlessly across the field, and disappears into the night. The moon is gone. I can still hear her gallop and call out in the darkness that surrounds me.
Looking into my granddaughter's loving eyes; I want to tell her all about it. I smile and mouth the words, "I love you". I close my eyes and listen for the sound of beating hoofs and the whipping wind.