Pony Girl

Pony Girl

By Travis Stephens

Around the vast cedar tree

the girl is circling.

A pony, she says, I’m on a pony.

Three steps behind, the feral boy

says no, you’re not, but his forever

clogged nose, snotty nose, made him

sound as if he were underwater.

He is suffering from the early

onset symptoms of first love.

My pony can prance, she says,

and skips in flashes of patent leather.

This is May, almost June. Snow

has gone back to where it comes from

and in a few weeks he will never

see her again.

Later his therapist would encourage him

to use memory as “a springboard to emotion”,

as if his emotions were very far away.

In truth his hard face and blue

eyes made him seem distant, like

a blackjack dealer or sometimes

killer. Emotions were the rage

and despair he tried to bury,

the mystery that intrigued new

lovers and left them uneasy.

There were good reasons not to

keep a gun in the house, reasons

why he had a large family that

lived far away. In memory’s

darkened rooms a young girl is

circling a tree, prancing, while a

boy, hopeful still, tries to keep up.


Travis Stephens was raised on a dairy farm. He earned a degree at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, before departing for the West Coast. Stephens became a sea captain and now resides in California. He has been published in the Upriver anthology, NOTA, Stoneboat Review, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Havik, and Pennsylvania English. His was a Poem of the Week for Silver Needle Press and other work will appear in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature the winter of 2018.



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