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David Weiss

A View of the View

 

What I can see

from here

isn’t much — the jutting

out brick wall of

the house    and a narrow

strip of the horse’s

pasture    Confined to

the old barn for almost

a year    she’s just

been let out into it

                               For

ten months she peered

over a narrow gate as

the seasons rang

their changes while

the ugly wound

on her hind leg slowly

scabbed over

Grain bucket to

water trough to hay

flaked from bales

she made her rounds

as geese in

squawking diagonals

rowed by    Leaves let

go and spread

their ragged parasails

Snow careened

on the bitter air

which sang

a sorrow song

through old planking

She’d stop at

the gate to crane

her long neck out

and gaze at a landscape

she was no longer

part of —

until an hour ago

 

I listened

flat on my back

as she took possession

of her weedy acre —  

this middle-aged

racehorse    distant

offspring of Secretariat   

who stood still at first in

the wide-open gate

then stepped out

snorting    stopped

and jumped straight up

into the air

Thunderously

she galloped off

— such fierce feeling   

and fearsome unatrophied power —

then made her way

along the fence

line with effortless

speed     gliding

as if she’d

achieved lift-off

 

I can glimpse

from bed      brick  

some grass   a

stretch of fence and

tree line beyond it

that walls off

further sight   

A lilac bush

flowering

at a corner of

the equipment shed

is the one thing

I can see

all of    its scent

when it reaches me

overwhelming as

a slap in the face

If I could get

to the window and push

my head out

I’d see

like the horse

what now

I only smell and hear

 

From this blinkered view

I can’t tell if

the mare’s still cropping

spring grass

grown long in her

internment

or gone back into

the dark

of the barn as if

outdoors

were too much   

Inside    a rusty

potato harvester

like the bony skeleton

of a huge fish

shares the space —

a hazard she has skirted

in her endless

circuits

 

The problem I can’t

solve

is the broken fence wire

I’d left loose

to snarl around the horse’s

leg last summer   

It tightened

as she pulled back hard

and yanked

the hide down like a sock

exposing tendon

and raw muscle   

  Later

that night pulling

a trailer

too small for her

we got held up

on our way

to the large animal hospital

by a 4th of July

fireworks display    boom

after concussive boom

drove the horse wild in

her injured confinement —

no view at all

in that cramped

deafening space and miles

to go. Even when

we got her there

she wouldn’t take it lying down —

impervious to sedation

she pinned

a vet against the stall

and took

his breath away

The horse kept faith

with herself    something

a creature with 350° vision

will rear up to do

no matter the harm

asserting her belonging

to what matters

most — a thing you

only really know

when you are

being pulled away

from it

 

Like this view

that isn’t much of one

I take it lying down

as I’ve been told

to do

She’s taken it too

her internment

until she no longer had to

I feel as if I can

see the misty breath

jetting from her nostrils

She whinnies

a crazy glissando

When I am

allowed up to

walk under

my own steam

I’ll have things to

say to her

that will take the form

of carrots and

scoops of grain   

I will express it

by filling

the trough clear

to the brim —

the water cold

and nervy

and wanting out


David Weiss's most recent books of poems are Little Mirror (Lynx House) and No One Sleeps Tonight (Tiger Bark Press). His crime novel series, Ditch Witch, is now available on Amazon.





 


 

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