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Precious The Mule

Precious The Mule

By Mary RicketsonPublisher: Redhawk PublicationsISBN: 978-1-952485-88-6Genre: PoetryPrice: $15.00
Available from: Redhawk Publications

Precious the Mule is a story of humanity, compassion, and kindness. A mule gets injured then draws the attention of a neighbor who walks past. Set in winter and springtime in a small cove in the Appalachian mountains, a relationship develops between mule and human. This poemetory, story in poetry, weaves Mary’s poems into a memorable story that joins sorrow and suffering with joy and hope.

Mary Ricketson lives in Murphy NC, works as a mental health counselor and a blueberry farmer. Her poems often reflect the healing power of nature, surrounding mountains as midwife for her words. Her published collections are I Hear the River Call My Name, Hanging Dog Creek, Shade and Shelter, Mississippi: The Story of Luke and Marian, Keeping in Place, and Lira, Poems of a Woodland Woman.


In Precious the Mule, Mary Ricketson sings the rhythms and patience of one mule named Precious. The poet walks the path by the mule every day, learning from the mule “Time is all there is.” All of Nature shines and sings along. “A whippoorwill woos the night.”

Country is Shelby Stephenson’s recent book. He was poet laureate of North Carolina from 2015-2018.

Three varied characters populate Mary Ricketson’s lyric narrative: Precious the Mule, the ever-changing mountain landscape of North Carolina, and an unnamed speaker who directs our attention. All three engage us with the colors of their joys, sorrows, struggles, and ultimate continuity. The poet takes us inside a scintillating world, and like any good story, this one keeps us rapt until the climax and inevitable dénouement.

David Radavich, author of The Countries We Live In

In Mary Ricketson’s latest poetry book, I am amazed once again at her writing skills. Having overcome challenges of her own, Mary forms an attachment with an injured Arabian mule belonging to her neighbor. She visits him often and gives him comfort, as he stands and waits for the leg to heal. The combination of the mule with exquisite mountain scenery creates a tender and touching book.

Glenda Barrett, author of “When the Sap Rises” and “The Beauty of Silence.”