published in Staple 69/70 Summer/Autumn 2008
The Padfield Horse
for Sharon Morris
My stomach was full of half-digested
food, not quite enjoyed but eaten
for needing food, and I had beer
too, enough to keep me warm.
I tell you this, so you can imagine
the moment when crossing a field
stile after stile, Martin stops, silent,
says, Thats a horse. It is white.
I have no night-vision; the horse,
standing as still as it can its ears
flicking, turning; nostrils enlargening
enfleshes before us. Becomes.
If Id been alone, I might have
missed it or might have thought
it was one of your horses the ones
from your book but instead
Martin and I crept through grass
to the fence, also white, and offered
the one offering we had a handful
of Austrian pumpkin seeds.
And that should have been it, except
one image endured: two pilgrims
crossed a thin path marked out
by leylines, the sky dulled by smoke
from the village bonfires, to greet
a horse born out of darkness
to materialize for them, its ears
twitching to the hymns of fireworks.
But we were not these pilgrims,
we were in awe, yes, but drunk too
and unprepared for feeding horses,
and unprepared for its soft rejection.
anthology - "Entering the Tapestry", Enitharmon, a second anthology from the Poetry School;
book of the exhibition - "Fields of Vision" ("Skirting Pictures" - essay on contemporary art);
and: "Brittle Star" magazine
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