January 6, 2009

Mare, Solo

Each night,
the black horse
trots along the fence,
snow pale as paper
beneath her hooves,
dark ovals on stems of bony legs
that arc behind five rails of fence
like notes along a staff.

She rubs her nose on the top
rail, clashes against its metal
tubes, a cymbal punctuating night.
From the house I hear the percussion
of ice flung from her hooves,
her contralto whinny into dark
she is darker than,
except a white half-moon
gleaming from her face.
Her shadow behind
fence panels, the rhythmic
circling of her feet,
each measure perfect,
a fugue, a raga,
a shape-note hymn.

(Originally published in  Ice-Floe: International Poetry of the Far North)

From We Tempt Our Luck, forthcoming from Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press.

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