Racing Pony

Between Fort Stockton and Balmoreah, someone thought to stencil a racing pony on a slab of concrete by the side of I-10. Twice I year I catch a glimpse of this galloping black pony as I barrel down the hot highway toward El Paso.
It looks as though the concrete slab was once part of an imposing gate, perhaps the entrance to a cattle ranch.
I’ve never stopped the car to get out and look at the stencil. I wish I could, but I think of it too late. I remember that I want to get a close up look at the painted pony, right as my car is zooming past it at 80 miles per hour. For the next 25 miles I’m left wishing I had remembered to stop and get out, get up close.
What is it about that pony stencil that I like so much? It’s the horses legs. All four legs are elevated, tucked in, that nanosecond of time in which a horse is completely levitating as it races. Sometimes photographers catch this precise moment at The Kentucky Derby, and you see the photograph on the cover of Time magazine a week later. For one split second the winning horse is flying, all four legs off the ground. Magic.

Such is the painted pony on the concrete slab off the hot highway on I-10. Levitated, untouchable, mane and tail holding on for dear life.
I want to make sure I’m running right. And by right I don’t mean ethically or morally. I mean by a calling, a boom! there goes the gun, and I’m flying in the race for which I have been and am being trained. I’ll never experience that nanosecond of celerity if I’m not.
I’ve got things I want to accomplish over the next two years. I want my first book picked up by my parent publisher, Zondervan, and printed, distributed and marketed on their dime. And I want to be laying under a shade umbrella somewhere in Mexico when I get this news.
And then I want to publish my first collection of poems. I have big hopes for my first poetry collection. I plan to blow your mind. I plan to reintroduce poetry to an entire demographic. I guess this is called driven. But that word doesn’t move me. The stencil of a racing pony does.