ellens goatWell, it is poetry month. Here’s a poem I wrote several springs ago after visiting my friend Ellen Felsenthal. (She is a photographer, and the photo is from her website.) I’ve always thought this poem could become slightly “bigger” if I worked on it, but it resists me. It wants to be what it is. Premarin is a pharmeceutical made from the urine of pregnant mares. The foals are often destroyed. In my mind, then, this is a poem about redemption.


I visit my friend Ellen’s farm
to meet her rescued Premarin filly
gorgeous paint girl

one of Ellen’s three horses
along with her mare Harmony
and a foster horse that needs training

Ellen has rescued numerous beasts
a pony named Elvis too old to be adopted
several goats including one who bleats like a baby

causing Ellen to say oh Waylon we hear you
also three sheep three dogs
a cat with a litter of kittens

Ellen says we can borrow
the neighbor’s horse we can saddle Harmony
and go riding but we stand talking

until it is too late to ride until
the horses tire of nudging our pockets for peppermints
finish the carrots we carried to them

and walk slowly away
their swaying free bodies unbridled

0 replies
  1. Jennifer Bullis
    Jennifer Bullis says:

    I love this, Bethany. I, too, ache for all those Premarin-factory horses. This poem sparely but clearly captures the blessing that Ellen and her farm provide for all these animals.

  2. ellen
    ellen says:

    I love this so much. Thank you for bringing to my heart again. The sweet goat in the photo is Emmett, as a baby. We lost sweet Emmett last summer, to CAE, an infectious disease common in the goat dairy industry. His mom must have had it. As a boy, Emmett would have been sold for meat (only the girls are “useful” to a dairy), so we rescued him and he spent 8 wonderful years at New Moon Farm.

    And I owe you that ride! Now that Eclipse is grown up, and a solid riding horse, and Harmony is still going strong, we can go anytime.

  3. Beverly
    Beverly says:

    for the record – and with no authority whatsoever, I love this poem, just the way it is.

    Really resonates on the last few lines.


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