The Ride of His Life

by Lisa M. Griffiths

The Ride of His Life

by Lisa Griffiths

With snow-capped mountains in his view
And the river Vindalälven so near
Comes the hunter in forest through
Striding confident and without fear.
He is Peter Forsberg looking for trout
Amid fragrant spruce and giant maple
To catch many fish he has no doubt
A feast to be had at the dinner table.
Hair of blond and eyes of blue
Evoke Viking ancestors of days past
His Lapphund, Thor, goes with him too
Who’s strong, brave, and very fast.
They claim their spot on the river’s shore
Peter readies the bait; Thor checks for fowl
Storm clouds gather as birds of prey soar
The air is rent with a lone wolf’s howl.
Thor looks to his master for a nod of ascent
“Go chase your beast but do take heed
Tis elusive quarry with much energy spent,”
Peter said. So Thor left with speed.
As time went by the wind grew stronger
Peter’s quest for trout had taken its course
He called for Thor to not tarry longer
Looking along the bank he spotted a horse.
Eyes and coat as black as the devil’s heart
With sturdy body and long, thick mane
It stood tall and proud with legs firmly apart
This gorgeous creature was far from plain.
With the fish forgotten, Peter was awed
“I must ride it,” he said in a daze
Moving closer with an expression so odd
A deep yearning inside that now was ablaze.
The horse whinnied as he neared
It shook its mane and added a snort
Peter’s hands trembled with desire and fear
This adventure he could no longer abort.
A touch of the beast sent shocks to the soul
Peter then leaped up to sit on its back
He could feel the two becoming a whole
Like an omen from Thor, the thunder did crack.
In a moment the horse took off on a run
With rider clinging, and feeling great fright
He yelled, “Enough! I want this done!”
Yet no one could help him with his plight.
The horse turned, setting sights on water of blue
Hard as he tried, Peter could not let go
As the swift running river came into view
He gasped and cried, “And now I know.”
Twas the Bäckahästen, a truly evil steed
Taking Peter Forsberg toward certain death
No way to break grip or spell in his hour of need
So soon he’d be taking his very last breath.
Quickly, there would be no one left to save
Peter thought of his children and beautiful wife
This horse would drag him to a watery grave
And on the way give the ride of his life.
If you want to download the pdf of this poem, click here.

Lisa's Writings

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He looks a fool, but I dare not mock
My scarf feels tight, I must make loose

-from “Jack Ketch,” by Lisa M. Griffiths

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