Some Horses

Updated: Sep 9, 2021



And then the horses came.

Wild stallions on the arroyo,

swayback mares out to pasture,

newborn colts thrashing

awkward legs. Every trail

to orange canyons

clogged with manes

and thickened flanks.

They came

to houses, stood guard

in storerooms, blocked

paths to jewels and Cubist art.

They stole our silver to concoct armor,

swam desert streams to vast oases,

sauntered home through waves of dusk.

They groomed their young

in ways of grandeur, held down

jobs to create wealth. As a child,

I rode them bareback, squeezed

their necks right and left. They led

me nowhere, on cairn-lined

byways, over reddened earth,

into shades of night.

They tamed

themselves in paisley hooves,

ate acres of alfalfa,

slept on bales of straw.

In the end, we stopped taking

notice. They roamed buttes

and mesas, until the eldest

fell to his death. Now we call

them in the highest register.

But they travel on, deaf

to our pleas. Wild at heart,

we praised their beauty,

envied their courage,

power and grace.

We bequeathed

them nothing, save

the worries of hunger.

Their tracks lead on.

Red horizon beams.


Inspired by Edward Muir,

with apologies to Thomas McGuane


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