Patricia (Patty) Barnhart, lives and works with her husband on a guest ranch in south central Oregon where life “off the grid” has been the norm for two decades. She has a background in juvenile counseling. Patricia has been writing most of her life and is the author of short story collections, eclectic cookbooks, poetry, and one novel. She embraces the notion that life reveals storylines everywhere and gives credit to her walks after feeding cattle “out in left field” as a time when ideas often come to her. Patricia has won a number of short fiction contests and has been published in numerous magazines and literary collections. 


Patty Barnhart

When I Am An Old Horsewoman I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,
And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me
And I shall spend my social security on white wine and carrots,
And sit in my alleyway of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.

I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding,
Across the moonstruck meadow If my old bones will allow
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn
and show instead the flowers growing inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.
I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair as if it were a jewel
And I will be an embarrassment to ALL
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free to have a horse as a best friend
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old.