Wednesday, 23 May 2012


Your stepdad’s in Intensive, 
horizontal, hooked to tubes. 
He won’t 
even know we’re there. 

But we set out anyway, past the neighbors’ 
bay gelding pacing his paddock –
horse that’s never known a halter, never 
been led out into fresh green morning. Forgotten 

steed. He whinnies, pricks his ears, 
listens to the herd in free pasture down the hill. 
His hooves have churned bare soil to mud. 
He does a one-horse dance against his fence. 

This first Saturday in May – Derby day, 
a fleet field of colts and fillies – 
but there’s no chance the hospital will be tuned 
to paddock-parade at the Downs. 

I need to see horses running. Look at this 
solitary gelding. Snuffle against his muzzle. 
Slip onto his back. Muscles slack – let’s kick. 
Remember how to lip-flick a latch –

the gate hangs open on its hinge. 
May means spring. 

- Taylor Graham
Placerville, CA USA 

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