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Little Cowgirls Rock
Carol Anne Perini


Out on the back patio,
my daughter rides her rocking horse.
I watch her through my kitchen window,
swinging so far forward
the tip of the horse's nose
taps the astro-turf
covering the floor of the screened-in porch.
The springs squeak a twangy tune.
The plastic horse quakes
with each plunge,
hairline cracks threatening to burst.
Her blond hair flies
forward over her face
then back, through the air,
a high arc of curls
landing with a soft glance
on the back of her cowgirl pajamas.
Her three-year-old feet curl over the pegs.
Her hands grip the horse's plastic mane.
She grunts each time she forces forward
with all of her eternal might.
"Huh!" she shouts,
her belly firm.
She's full of her own self.
She imagines
the other riders cannot catch her;
she has left the cavalry far behind;
the bear she is chasing is not far ahead.
Her gal-pals flank her
and their steeds also sweat and snort
in their long strides.
"The cookies are ready," I tell her,
but my girl does not break stride.
For the moment,
she and her trusty charge
have other plans.

© by Carol Anne Perini.
Used here with the author's permission.


Carol Anne Perini was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and now lives in Long Beach, California. In between, she has lived in Florida, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Colorado, and Arizona. An avid reader since childhood, Carol Anne wrote her first story at age 10 and hasn't stopped since. She's the author of one short story collection, has three novels in the works, and is an active member of the University of Southern California's Community Literature Initiative.  Learn more about her at

Post New Comment:
In an old family movie my sister is riding that horse. You could have been watching her; blond hair flying, eyes wide open, a kind of frown on her face and every ounce of energy pushing her horse's head to the floor. I love your way with words. Tere S.
Posted 02/21/2024 12:12 PM
barbara eknoian:
A mom capturing a special moment of observing her child. Love the poem.
Posted 02/20/2024 06:31 PM
Donnawest :
Love this poem ! I could see + feel her fury - passion for riding! Love the imagery!💓🤠🐴
Posted 02/20/2024 04:05 PM
Alarie Tennille:
I now pity my poor friend who had a rocking horse that I would gallop away on when I went to his house after school. He wanted someone to play a game with, or worse, to play ball when I couldn't see well enough to do well.Thank you, Carol, for bringing back the magic.
Posted 02/20/2024 04:02 PM
This brought back the sweetness of childhood...what it was or what we wished for for ourselves and our children.
Posted 02/20/2024 02:22 PM
Absolutely love this!
Posted 02/20/2024 02:08 PM
Lori Levy:
You've captured your daughter (who could be any little girl or boy) on her rocking horse perfectly.
Posted 02/20/2024 01:37 PM
A delightful poem to start my day! Not even cookies can tempt a gal with places to go!
Posted 02/20/2024 01:22 PM
michael escoubas:
Lovely poem, Carol, a touch of nostalgia and a chance to relive that "childish" fervor that leaves us all too soon. Thank you, Jayne, for the interesting and informative history of the rocking horse.
Posted 02/20/2024 12:48 PM
Such a sweet memory. Thank you.
Posted 02/20/2024 11:46 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I love this delightful poem because it shows independence and individuality. Favorite imagery: Her blond hair flies forward over her face then back, through the air, a high arc of curls landing with a soft glance on the back of her cowgirl pajamas.
Posted 02/20/2024 11:22 AM
Charming poem
Posted 02/20/2024 10:45 AM
Tom Sharpe:
Little cowgirl needs a horse, a gift you will never regret.
Posted 02/20/2024 09:58 AM
A delightful memory for both mother and child that can now be enjoyed again in this poem!
Posted 02/20/2024 07:38 AM

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