I Need a Poem with Horses in It
Let the mare with one white fetlock
wander over to the pasture fence.
I have no apple but here she comes
so I can rub her high smooth cheek.
Her brown muzzle touches my face
and her breath becomes my breath.
When he came to visit, I’d hang it
on a wooden hanger in my closet.
The jacket felt so solid, even then.
Made of the best leather in Spain.
When my father died in his sleep
as an old man, I claimed his jacket.
I brought it to a fancy leather shop
where they shortened the sleeves.
The jacket had come to his waist.
On me it reaches down to the hips
but it still sort of fits. I wear it often.
Time after time I shove my hands
deep into the pockets. Nothing
of his. No hanky. Not a note. But
twenty-two years after his death
I’ve just found a tiny hidden pocket
inside the jacket. A breast pocket
directly over the heart. I won’t
slip two fingers into the narrow slit
and try to dig around. I won’t
take a flashlight and peek inside.
I’ll just believe this secret pocket
is packed full with outrageous puns
we used to share over breakfast,
the night we took turns getting up
to turn off a misbehaving alarm,
or one particular day I remember
when I hugged him like a lover.
The Birth of Moses, alternate version
And the daughter of the Pharaoh
came down to wash herself
at the river. (Exodus 2:5)
A woman in a river
is a body of water in a body of water.
Large-bellied beside water.
What else growing in that river?
Bulrushes and pickerelweed. You
say cattails. King James says bulrushes.
Pharaoh’s daughter swam with swans
whose great black feet caught
in her untied hair.
Whereupon the water delivered her baby.
Babe upon the Nile.
Child of water.
And she called his name Moses
because she drew him out of the river.
When did her water break?
Young mother of the waters.
There in the Nile. Among swans.
Truth quick as water.
Woman in the river. In the water.
As if water. This other old story.
Never told in the Book.