Wooden Horses

Dirty manes cruelly
tugged under a child’s command.
Faded paint peeling.
Cracked and bruised with age.
Always saddled.
No wonder their backs sag so.

Condemned to never
touch ground or soar skyward.
Forever at a gallop.
Racing the same tired course.
Chained to a pole.
No wonder these nags creak so.

Proud wooden horses
freed from the tree by an artisan.
Glossy in their prime.
Arched tails raised in a salute.
Eyes intent and black.
No wonder riders perceive it so.

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