The Present

The Past


April 2007
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Blink and it’s there again…
the grotesque horror
the tortured panic.
Close your eyes but it won’t
Blink away.

All power and panic,
the horse pummels the ground:
Escaped. Free.
But he slides
and plummets
and pounds and pounds and pounds
until he flails himself upright.

Blink your relief,
only to open
to the macabre horror
of maimed beauty.
Fragmented foreleg flapping
like laundry
on the line.

After, waiting for the execution
we blink tears,
she weeps and moans for a gun.
There is nothing to be done
and if there were,
the damage couldn’t be undone.

Our abject human ring
holds up the horse,
watches the blood bead
and encircle the shattered leg,
a necklace of grief around
our shattered hearts.

Our dogs circle,
licking bloodstained earth
as headlights highlight
the mercy killing.
Fervent wishes won’t save him
and he falls again tonight.

But every blink brings him back.
The flapping sock of foreleg.
The crumpled forms
(His and hers).
The broken hearts

There are a myriad of ways that a horse can break your heart. As we stood encircled on a chilling fall night, that much was clear. As we leaned into each other and into the pain, each of us wept for the horse in front of us and the horses that still danced in our memories. The circle of pain encompassed real heartbreaks and ones that might have been, and although none of us could plumb the heartbreak of the prostrate woman in front of us, we each knew more about the depts of that pain than we wished. We floated in a haze of our own memories as theinterminable minutes drifted past… as we waited for the horse’s pain to end… as we watched the life ebb and flow from him… as we silently begged for it to be over soon…

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