Tire Horse was in the field across the street from the crematorium. It was a late afternoon in July. I was riding my bike down a side street to the grocery store when I passed a field between the half-decayed houses that filled most of this neighborhood. Not a plot of land was empty, except for this field.
The horse stood there, chewing a piece of dead grass. I stopped in the middle of the road. The horse made his way to the edge of the fence and stared at me. The fence was not particularly good at doing its job. It was maybe as tall as a three-year-old and the wood was rotten in many places. Pieces of old wood hung off the frame, half nailed together and half held up by the ground. The horse could have easily stepped over the fence but then I noticed his foot. A tire was knotted around his back hoof.
As I walked towards the fence he limped closer, pulling his tire along with him. The rope attached to Tire Horse’s leg was muddy, and it was sturdy, without any frays. In spite of these conditions, Tire Horse was a sweet, goofy looking guy. He wasn’t going to be winning any horse races. I wanted to pull out a knife and cut him free.
I went back to my bike and continued riding to the grocery store. An old man smoking a cigarette on his front porch watched me go. Children yelled at each other in a language I did not understand. I turned as I rode away and Tire Horse was watching me.
When I got home I told my roommates about Tire Horse.
“I don’t believe you,” one said.
“I’ve seen him,” said another. We all turned towards him. “I’m friends with the man who owns the funeral home and I was over there talking to him once and I saw the horse.” After a pause he said, “What kind of bastard ties a tire to a horse?”
After a moment my friend said, “I still don’t believe you.”
The next day we rode by Tire Horse’s field but he wasn’t there. The dead grass swayed slightly in the wind. My friend really didn’t believe me now.
“Well, where is he?” he asked.
We stopped near the side of the road, standing with our bicycles between our thighs.
“I don’t know. He was here” I said.
My friend got back on his bike. I got onto mine slowly, still searching the field as I rode away. I went by every day for a few weeks, looking for Tire Horse. Part of me started to believe that I had dreamed him up, that the midday heat had created a Tire Horse. Maybe someone had come by with the guts to cut him free. The other day I saw a cat asleep inside the tire, like that was the safest place in the world to be.
Megan Sinnott was born in the Philadelphia area and currently studies literature and writing in Portland, OR. Her poems have previously appeared in The Rock Creek Review and Pathos Magazine. She works at a pre-school, where most of her time is spent making up stories about alligators and princesses to appease a four-year-old audience.