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.


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