Academic journal article Field

Harness

Academic journal article Field

Harness

Article excerpt

They tell me I was too young to remember

the day the horse team spooked and broke

the reins and left my father empty-handed,

running after them with me on their backs.

I rode every time he took them out, Marsha

one was called and Angel the other and I was

too young (maybe four) to be up on their

broad backs, without a saddle, but they were

so calm not even a shotgun made them bolt

and my father was so young and proud

not even his son could scare him. I was

never scared, their black manes smelled

so good and the rise and fall of their shoulders

as I lay on my stomach pulled the horizon

up and down and I kept the flies from their face

with a long branch. Now that I am a father

and my father is dead I think he must have

felt, in the moment the reins left his hands

and the trace snapped, that all of what his life

had led to up to at that point was now in full

flight from him, his hands never so empty

as right then and it was a beautiful day

to lose a son. …

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