Monday, July 23, 2012

The Secret Tribe of the Horse People

Not what you think;
some canyon dwelling
corn beer drinking
hardy indigenous folk.

Not julep in hand
milliner’s best-dressed
veranda lounging
owners of well-bred genes.

Not poster swooning
young women brush in hand
willing to groom their way
into the local stable.

Not a farrier, vet or jockey,
or creative trainer
with a syringe full
of snake venom up his sleeve.

No confederation of track
habitués or cowboys
or purveyor of pointy toed boots
for one day in May.

No, the horse people
know who they are
by suffering the blessing
and indignities of being born

human, in frail bodies
with two legs,
poorly designed knees
that over time can’t carry

the wild desire to run.
Where running is everything
the whole world is movement,
grass, sunlight, the herd.

Trapped in bodies that speak
only of limitations
aching for the Steppes, a windswept
island separated from the coast.

They clutch a whiskey, or vodka,
listen for rhythmic drumming
of hoof beats, almost imperceptibly
widen their nostrils and shake their inadequate heads.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Raptor Rapture Again

Last Sunday afternoon over at OMSI.

The Fourth of July

Its half past hydrangea on the flower clock, the lilies are coming on. My mother’s birthday, though, she’s long gone. But you…

Three jobs between us we both have the same day off. A picnic, you say, in the park cross the way, we won’t get lost in the dark.

First we must provision, a baguette, some Brie, a blanket, of course, and thee. We head off to the store where we’d been a million times before.

Except this once you didn’t see the crazy curb sticking out to protect the tree. I did, but then it was too late to shout.

The tire came off the rim the way we hit. You backed off angry, scared enough to spit, the energy between us dark as you maneuvered us into a lopsided park.

It was the mark of us, our style, to fret and snipe and bark while waiting for the Triple A I had so recently purchased on a self-protective lark.

A passerby might see distress, the not all right, but would they know we couldn’t hold back the change to come with all our might?

You’d been tired we knew, the jobs exhausted you, your vision narrowed, the periphery gone somehow, a mystery

A stroke I worried, and you the dreaded C, but instead we spoke of those we knew and family. Slowly home on the spare we went

To stretch out in the long grass, spent. With a combined effort we tried to keep the topic light, then out of the blue you began to recite

In order your living sibling's names. So many brothers, not so much blame as families go. We must have known this chat would frame

The next few months as contact was made with them about the facts of your prognosis and desires in the time ahead and all the fires

Left to be put out. When the Navy-man came for your pre-surgical labs later in the week, we all marveled at the grace that came to us on that specific street.

No tree, nor child, or car, or bike came to harm as the Fates took flight to circle round the rest of this particular life

To offer an end to all your pain and weary making strife.