Today's poem is by W. Vandoren Wheeler

I Paint Self-Portraits of Horses
        Animal glue is all around us, even in the binding of books ...
                                        —Animals and Ethics pamphlet

The horse weighs down
the exhausted field.
Both their backs bow
under half the sky.
Old muscle, field of weeds
trodden and flat-teeth-clipped . . .

Around the field, a fence
of crumbling wood.
Around the horse legs, its tree-knot
knees, either flight paths
of flies, or motion lines
of a trembling: my twinging
at the stitches lashing
the pacemaker into
my grandfather's chest.

These flat, childish mountains,
obviously drawn in one motion.
Worst are the flowers, for those set
on their—on her—kitchen table.
She couldn't finish saying,
Those are so beaut—

                                the pleasure and sadness
smashed together, shattering into something
she choked on, then swallowed.

This mesquite bush's tangle,
so two-dimensional. What I hoped
made a bird, shrivels into more weeds.

What I thought formed a simple shadow,
for some semblance of balance,
throws back its head, parts

crude teeth to bite,
and another form
of desperation paints
its skull see-through—
my brains split
like a horse's hoof.

God, grind this grief into
a glue that holds
these images in
their ink, patient
shapes to stain
my paper mind.

Copyright © 2012 W. Vandoren Wheeler All rights reserved
from The Accidentalist
Bear Star Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Weekly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Follow Verse Daily on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2012 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved