Tamara stands in straw

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and dreams her long-necked, sweet-grass reveries, and shifts her weight in the patient way of horses in the cold. She will be a long time in this stall, through the entire season of grass she will have alfalfa, timothy, and eight-foot, spare enclosure keeping her dry on hooves held closed with polymer and wire. This tall barn covers her strangely, a mare who's never been kept in; a simple, aged construction topped with tin, it magnifies the rain. I am to stay with her for several hours, to keep her on her feet till the plastic sets. The stable-owner sends a thermos of tea and I drink slowly, taking in its heat in the faint warmth of the barn, while the mare dreams and wakes and drinks and returns to her hay and then her dreaming, while darkness tightens to the single shape of horse and nights sounds of iron scud against concrete through all the layered softnesses of straw.

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