Winter

by Cody Winchester

One December, a horse
fell through ice and
couldn’t reach bottom in
dark winter water.
After that, we didn’t glide
on slippery paths anymore.
When ice turned to slush,
we stood silent and
watched chains around
the bloodstained skull
grow taut and black tires dig.
The dogs and birds ate away
any flesh above the ice
and after the first thaw,
a tractor pulled out the rest.
Around the warm stove, we
tried not to think about
being dead in inky black water
for three months.