• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 02
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In Memory of Horse

Is it enough to raise a child with the idea of a horse?
No worries about dirty flies or broken backs or swift kicks.
No need to say Hand Flat, Hold Still, Rub Gently.

A horse is just a shape, a cardboard cut-out, a sense of speed.
A tale of knights charging and wings spreading under heroes
before they fall. A pet for small girls in books, winning prizes.

Horse is just a symbol, for those who can afford to leave
small children behind closed doors, and take a ride.
Horse is just a word, an image, a means to an end.

Horse is not extinct because he lives in fingerprints on the wall,
in the chalk upon the ground. We know he stamps his hooves and snorts.
We know his big teeth only bite lumps of sugar.

No one needs to know how many hands high he was,
to look far down into the ditch as we leave fallen comrades in a field,
to be carried faster than the wind, without a shield of glass.

Horse appears on the front cover, the t-shirt, the birthday card every year.
His shoes hang above the door. He carried naked women aloft;
perhaps he is only a story after all.