Today's poem is by David Baker

October Storm


The green sky,
      the gray-green sky
      growling now,

the first stone-
      gray rain pellets
      starting down,

so he looped
      his leg over
      a fence-rail

to watch from
      the weed safety
      of the side

and I walked
      out—Carl wouldn't
      go—to fetch

the colt wild
      from a week at
      pasture alone.

What more? You'd
      gone to your chore.
      Knuckle of

stone to de-
      ice the trough, leaves
      in low whirls,

grist of dust.
      Thunder coming.
      His friend—

they liked the
      word in knowing

no longer
      code for a covert
      thing, but kitsch,

like a long
      scar, healed enough
      to amuse—

his friend was
      at the barn door
      watching you

work the black
      water in the trough,
      and turned.

Thunder com-
      ing. And then
      the colt was


beside me,
      pulling up snow-
      eyed, slickened

with frenzy.
      What more than to
      raise my arm?

It tells him
      I'm bigger. Easy.
      All right.

But then I
      turned my back,
      the rain driving

mane after
      mane flung full a-
      cross the field,

the sky no
      color I could

of wind and
      lightning all at
      once. I saw

the shock of
      a man's face as
      teeth tore through

wet flannel
      to my side,
      the young horse,

teeth bared, fright-
      ened by the
      fury, as

in battle—.
              I pulled him on,
      to the barn,

where you were,
      love. All of us,

at the nature
      of the strike ...
      Storm, then calm.

Nothing else
      but to heal. No-
      thing to keep

from the watchers
      at the gate,
      ever more.

Copyright © 2005 David Baker All rights reserved
from Five Points
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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