Today's poem is by Dennis Hinrichsen

Horse Standing in Sunlight

Witless to think such grazing could wound the sun and
                       yet the sun seems
            wounded—late slippage

in a relief of clouds—fence line plunging
                       the roll
            of fields, top wires

edged precisely with sunlight. She makes a knot
                       of her
            face and what lasts is the orbital

twist of lilac, rain's drizzle
                       on tin
            roof, her scent frail as a watermark. Men

sometimes fail miserably at love—in the branched
                       dark, watery
            shadow, legs braid, un-

braid; curtains drift; a column
                       of thought
            folds back on itself like a piece of string

so that no movement forward can undo
                       its sorrow-
            ful gaze—see how the horse stands, claustral,

not one hoof touching the ground—

                                      the pasture it hovers in.

Utterly transfixed. The very sign of amplitude,
            grace, its dun coat

quivering. The sun's eye
                       in the horse's eye
            like ore or nervous water.

Sudden impluse: desires to flee—a blue jay's
            prints its flank with a sharp rip,

black glide, then shreds itself
                       to rain
            in grass top. Downrange, downwind,

out of the field of vision, a spring foal on its side—
                       all lung and
            breath—in a nest of grass. They've gone

back to watch the ballgame finish,
                       the Amish
            women cobalt, orchid, teal, mustard yellow,

pitch and catch. Hard hits to where
                       the horses stood,
            cattle on folded limbs

in a trampled corner. On a rise across the road,
            horse standing in sunlight.

                                                 Fence at its back.

Wind stippling an acre of tree line to whale
                       skin, a shudder
            the oaks

pick up and spread to the river,
                       the overhanging
            willows. She makes a knot

of her thought and strides tidally
                       into the unwashed
            dark, the freshly

mottled bleed-through. Dress, richly colored,
            textured. To touch the silence.

Wreckage of grass. That the horse might continue grazing.
            of teal, orchid, cobalt, burnt

yellows, rain's fine drizzle at daybreak, orbital
                       twist, a man's face
            gone pale as a watermark.

Sudden impulse: but does not flee.
                       Arms slowly
            raised to wire: to un-wound the sun.

That the horse might still and the quiet
                       linger and
            the colt awaken and take the apple from her hand.

Copyright © 2004 Dennis Hinrichsen All rights reserved
from Cage of Water
The University of Akron Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved