Malín and I

Malín was mischief made muscle and mane. Together, we were a wild miracle some thought a curse. Malín and I were magic… with bite.

When I was 9 and ¾, too old to be told “Uncle X is just a friend” (who only visits someone else’s wife when her husband is working the land), Malín nearly uni-eared Uncle X while I full-scowled at my uncle’s wife.

My uncle’s wife took a stick to the horse and shared it with me.

Malín and I roared and hissed and bared our teeth as one beast. Malín and I galloped, galloped… the souls of my feet thundering through his hooves. Malín and I galloped, galloped… my heartbeats his marching drums.

Malín is memory and bone, mischief and magic forever living and leaping through me.


Girl’s Story, by Shelle Kennedy


the wee notes…
– in Spanish, Malín can be translated as “a bit bad” or “a bit wrong”.
– written for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads: Life Is Ripe, where a gloriously attractive hostess invites you to “write a new poem centered around a childhood memory, which brings you joy as an adult.”
– linked to Poets United.


75 thoughts on “Malín and I”

  1. I love the alliteration in the first paragraph/stanza, Magaly – sounds like you’re savouring every bit of mischief, miracle and magic – and the sounds and action: the roaring and hissing and baring of teeth – and the galloping, of course!

  2. Malin sounds like my first horse! What a magical memory. Malin – perfect name for a mischievous horse. Alas, mine was named Daisy but she was quite a jumper. “my heartbeats his marching drums” this so resonates with me. thank you O Gloriously Attractive Hostess for this wonderful prompt.

    • He deserved that name all the way, he and his biting ways. All right, so he didn’t bite everyone, only people he didn’t like (he just disliked a lot of people).

      Daisy is a lovely name for a mare, especially if she was pretty and mischievous–just like the flower.

      So glad this one gallops with you. 😉

  3. I love that you used Shelle’s art for your Malin story; they are a perfect combo! Your story is beautiful… a wild child with a wild horse, galloping… running like the wind, leaving all cares behind. The uncle is lucky that Malin didn’t choose to sink those bared teeth into his arm.

  4. Whisked away upon horses back… I know all about that! Don’t think I have ever outgrown it, either. Certainly saved me as a child and teenager… “muscle and mane…” indeed.

  5. Oh yes! ❤️I can picture you with your wild and beautiful spirit 😍 the tone and pacing of the poem puts me in the mind of one galloping through the fields and soaking in glorious bits of sun! A most exquisite write, Magaly! ❤️

    PS: It’s an absolute joy to have you hosting again in the garden!! 😀

    • You know, I think that I haven’t stopped grinning since I wrote this poem. Every comment adds to my delight, brings back bits of memory, so many memories… of running and wild fun. Yay! for galloping through fields in the sun.

      Thank you for sharing my joy. It’s good to be back. ❤️❤️❤️

  6. Maybe Uncle X’s ‘friend’ might have gotten more encouraged by the Vincent Van Gogh look? 😀

    Malin sounds like a spirited creature. It’s great the two of you understood each other so well.

    • Hey, if we are going to make him into a known figure, we can always go with Nearly Headless Nick. I’m almost sure Malín would’ve been glad to grant him that wish. Yep, I’m a terrible woman. 😀

      He was the very best. That wild thing. I’ve always thought my teeth obsession came from reading to much Poe, lol! But every now and again, I wonder… if the teeth thing didn’t come from Malín’s biting ways.

  7. Oh I love this… I have never heard of Malín like this… as a matter of fact there is a name in Swedish called Malin, but apparently that is a short form of Magdalene..

    I wish I had a friend like that as a kid… but I would probably been too afraid to have such a great friend.

    • “Mal” is the Spanish word for “wrong”. And “in”, at the end of certain words becomes a diminutive. Now that you told me that about Magdalene, I can’t wait to call my cousin Magdalene in front of her parents, lol!

      Malín would’ve probably been your friend. He was good with kids. Not scary at all. I think he disliked that man (and that woman) because they were so vicious towards him.

  8. I loved this piece Magaly, the childhood view on the life, the fantasy mixed with truth and innuendo. We should never let our Malins leave us as we would then fade away.

  9. I was sure I left a comment yesterday, Magaly. I commented on the alliteration in the first paragraph and the way it conveyed your pleasure in mischief, miracle and magic. Malin is a great name for a horse. I did not like the idea of that uncle’s wife using a stick on you and the horse but I love the action and the rhythm in:
    ‘Malín and I roared and hissed and bared our teeth as one beast. Malín and I galloped, galloped… the souls of my feet thundering through his hooves. Malín and I galloped, galloped… my heartbeats his marching drums’.

    • Your other comment is up. Maybe it was playing hide and go seek when you checked. 😀 About that terrible woman, she didn’t get to stick around for long… once everyone saw the rot she was made of.

  10. I am back again Magaly, this time through the Poetry Pantry door. I want to include a comment about your closing here… “Malín is memory and bone, mischief and magic forever living and leaping through me.” I absolutely love this, what a powerful description of never ending bond, even it would only be memory… just beautiful! I am a BIG 71-YEAR-OLD MAN, but I have come to adore this little Shih Tzu that is in our household. His name is Edgrrr, and I have never had an animal love me as much as this little fella does. Pure unadulterated love. He is 9, and he has been with us since he was no bigger than the palm of my hand. I will be devastated if this little guy dies before I do. He with me, and my grandson with me – we are the three amigos. Being with them makes me so happy sometimes I cry… ;-(

    • Welcome back, Rob.

      I’m right with you. When it first happens, the loss is heart-ripping. But although time never truly takes away the sort of hurt losing a friend causes, we get to keep and cherish the good times, to turn them into poetry, share them with others, let them before part of us… forever. Still, sometimes… there will be tears.

  11. I love the way you captured this memory! Both in words and in artistry! Such power in your words.

    Happy holiday, Magaly! Hope your new year is happy and HEALTHY. I look forward to more strong-woman poems!

  12. Horses and girls–kindred spirits. I had no real horse, but a stable of imaginary ones, and we too galloped through the fields and woods. I remember this again through your poem. I wince at the stick, but O, I can see you as “magic… with bite”! How that horse runs off the contradictions of the uncle and the world. How much your spirit retains of Malin!

    • Balance is a great thing, isn’t it? Even when life is harder than the hardest rock, Nature shows us a stone shaped so prettily that we must smile… pick it up… and treasure it… at its strength to our spirit.

  13. So wonderful to experience a partnership this exciting when growing up. It must have been fun to gallop around, ‘hissing’ and all in a somewhat ‘wild’ manner enjoyed by both. It is brilliant to pick the sketch which is so appropriate to the prose. Great, Magaly!


  14. My gosh, this read like one of your fabulous fictions. How wonderful that it is an actual memory. I love this horse through your writing! And, as others have said too, Shelle’s picture is the perfect accompaniment.

  15. This has so many elements and layers to paddle around in, for a bit … for me, the strongest, I think, is the awakening of a sense of empowerment in a young girl, which comes through so impactfully in the galloping, galloping. A wonderful piece of writing, Magaly.

    • I can’t disagree with your interpretation. Someone who read told me that he couldn’t see “where I found the joy”. I was surprised at first. I knew the piece wasn’t completely straightforward–art rarely is, is it?–but I couldn’t believe that he didn’t noticed her step towards freedom. Yes, life was tough, those two people were less than stellar, but… she was strong on her will and on her friendship with nature. And what can be more joyful?

      Thank you so much for reading, Wendy.

  16. As I was reading, I felt an awakening of her spirit no longer a girl but an emerging woman of strength.

    Wishing you a Happy Holiday

    May that strength continue to be a driving force in your life 🙂

  17. Boo to Uncle X- not my favorite character.
    The spirit and energy of both girl and horse are incredible.
    Love the words and the picture! True talent in both.

  18. What a wonderful description of free spirits hissing and galloping through the fields!
    These lines are magical –
    “I galloped, galloped… the souls of my feet thundering through his hooves.
    Malín and I galloped, galloped… my heartbeats his marching drums.”

    This shows your interconnectedness to each other. Pure love…

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