Academic journal article Field

Lilac Horses

Academic journal article Field

Lilac Horses

Article excerpt

Short horses are mules who still do some work

but ATV's have taken over the business of most

of what the horses used to do. Horses are now

long-legged cows hanging out by the edge

of the road looking over the edge of the fence

not quite knowing if they're being kept out

or kept in. I haven't touched a horse in so long.

Not since my great grandmother died and the farmer

behind her fence let us feed apples to the horses

who aren't there at all anymore.

The horses,

the apples, the farm.

And then I walk toward the horses.

I finally stop driving away from them

I finally stop thinking of them as cows on

the way to the Purina factory by my house

but instead as carriers of dust and seed and tall

men. I find an apple in the bottom of my purse

and although I am still afraid of big teeth and broken

wrists that don't allow me to get any work done

on the back of an ATV as I ride out into the canyons

where those broken cows work their way into a cave

and can't find their way out, I hold the apple

forward and say, not that you'd do better, horse,

but at least when you're stuck in a canyon without water

you have the good grace to imprint yourself on canyon walls. …

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