As I age, what the night mare carries
on her broad black back
is more often grief
joys foregone rather than horrors
friends who never reached
their rightful ends,
the loved who had to leave,
with no more days
tucked up a sleeve, not even
and I, who walk this earth
that mounds around them, weep
by the darkest side
of that night horse.
I cannot, in the remorse of here
even lean into her warm hide, cannot breathe the balm
of hard-run sweat, yet bending past
my divide, she nuzzles me; she
snorts, resettling her hooves
in sound sparks whose ring against the doved rise
of my winding sheet is so surprising
that I am able to turn, at last,
to the warmth,
in the way a tree might turn
when the wind winds down,
and apologize to those
who have gone.
But if they reply, I do not hear them
for those beats as the mare
for those beats
as the mare
Poem for Bjorn Rutberg’s prompt on With Real Toads to write something on the theme of nightmare. This pic is a recycled one of mine; Bjorn also suggested using a painting or drawing of Francesco Goya. I love love Goya, but confess to having written this poem before choosing the picture, as I could hardly bare the grimness today (so I’m not sure the pic really fits, as I am thinking of rather a more benign horse.)
This poem has been slightly edited since first posting; and probably will be edited again!
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