Issue Twenty-Two - Summer 2013

Stride

By Joan Colby

At one point in the gallop
All four feet are off the ground
And the horse is for the moment
Airborne the way an angel

Might be in the age before the fall,
Before the clods of earth spattered
The living and unborn with flying dirt.
The soul of the unbaptized darkened

Until the blessing of water flushed
Its hereditary taint. What saint
Invented this confusion
Erroneous as the early artists

Who drew the horse spread-eagled
In full stride until a camera
Freeze-framed the exactitude of motion,
Until disbelief freed the red bawl

Of a child from the rigor of faith,
The drumbeat of hooves over the track
That circles and circles and circles
To an arbitrary endpoint

An electronic wire where just a thrust
Is the difference between celebrating
Beneath an arch of roses
Or head-down plodding off to a bed of straw.

Copyright Colby 2013

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