Burying a Horse in February

Draft mare, hooves like dinner
plates, braid still in her mane.
Wait for a break
in the cold, a welcome warm
sun a shroud on the pasture—
but February is tricky. You find
yourself looking back in the garden
journal, saying This time last year
it was 55
, but today the air is hard,
spits snow into your eyes.
Watch as your husband starts
up the tractor—first the oblong hole, dug
with the backhoe, eight feet deep.
Then, you must stop and change
implements, attach the front loader
so you can move the mare, hope
she is not frozen
to the timothy grass.

Barbara Costas-Biggs is a poet living in Eastern Kentucky. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared recently in Literary Mama, District Lit, Compose, The Oyez Review, Four Ties Lit Review, The Pikeville Review, and others. She also is a member of the juried poetry series Women of Appalachia: Women Speak.