The Chrome Colt

Photo by Anne Lazarus

The coloring of this colt was a mystery to me, never having seen a horse going from red and black to taupe and grey in just this way. That, and his personality – staunchly cautious yet persistently curious – captured my attention. As soon as I got home from collecting dung, off went a picture to my dear Brent – a staunchly cautious yet persistently curious Texan.

Instantly he sent back, even though he is always on the road, that the color of the legs and tail is known as chrome. It’s hard to look at a detail and not see a story, and in the ethereal legs of the colt was seeing horse meld to land, as if a dusting of sage had indelibly settled upon him. (How I feel of Nevada. Though I’d take a shower, the days and weeks and months of trekking still within me chrome? Anyhow … ) That chrome in the colt arises from a color blocking agent adds to liking of him, for it puts me to mind of ullage, one of my all time favorite words. Ullage!

Abridged dictionaries give just one view– the amount by which a container falls short of being full, and might reference evaporation in a wine bottle, as if “falls short” is a bad thing. Yet, what made me fall in love with ullage was something else. Years ago, plowing through my monolithic, unabridged, hardcover dictionary wanting a short, rare word that starts with U, I unearthed ullage as the empty space in a rocket that allows for the expansion of gases, and now I had a view that made a distinction like lighting and lightning bug. That absence was a virtue where fuel could combust and propel without destroying the rocket. That nothing could be a part of momentum.

Ullage and beauty. Even love. Direct ideas, yet a million things. The chrome in the colt. White space between objects, like miles between dearest friends. Open range. Western sky. And the tiny pierced holes in a typewriter page.


About mustangpreserves

Wandering & wondering
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