Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Weight

Painting by Gayle Adams

The Weight

Two horses were put together
in the same paddock.
Night and day.
In the night and in the day
wet from heat and the chill
of the wind on it. Muzzle to water,
snorting, head swinging
and the taste of bay
in the shadowed air.
The dignity of being.
They slept that way,
knowing each other always.
Withers quivering for a moment,
fetlock and the proud rise
at the base of the tail,
width of back. The volume of them,
and each other’s weight.
Fences were nothing compared to that.
People were nothing.
They slept standing,
their throats curved against
the other’s rump.
They breathed against each other,
whinnied and stomped.
There are things they did
that I do not know.
The privacy of them had a river in it.
Had our universe in it. And the way
its border looks back at us
with its light.
This was finally their freedom.
The freedom an oak tree knows.
That is built at night by stars.

Linda Gregg

Posted over on Poetry Foundation

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