Black Horses Wet

And shining in the green field

As though they are just-painted models

In someone’s miniature world,

Set just



We fly down 577 while

Sun and rain leapfrog over each other,

Empty houses, fallow fields,

A woman pulling weeds

In a rectangular patch

Reclaimed from the wild,

Destined for the wild

In 40 years

Will I believe, bent and addled, alone and lost

that we stood healthy and hale

This mid-summer’s day on the golf course

While our handsome men teed off,

Tall and strong,

Our children swam, beautiful and shining

Like mythical Greeks

That we bantered and swore at our terrible shots,

Cheered the unbelievable putts, giving high fives,

Flirting because we were not yet old and

Could still do with possibility, secure

In our marriages, the present that was

Ripped wide open for us to take

Will I believe, contained to a tiny room with peeling paint

That money flowed like a river

Without noticing it,

Wine and dog food, iced tea and t-shirts,

Flip flops, coffee, huge boxes of frozen hamburgers

Golf carts and scotch, sweet corn, tenderloin,

Gas and books from the airport

That the river ran clear,

Herons flapping at the shore as in Yeats’ day,

That porcupines bent the trees, bald eagles

Sewed an invisible thread from pine to pine to unlucky fish to shore

That once a fawn swam in front of my kayak to the opposite shore

While white water lilies smelling of honey

Spread pedaled constellations across the surface of the water

That we lived in peace?

Will I touch my white hair,

Will I take Eliot’s peach and descend his stair,

Leaning on a cane, and say “my stars!”

Will I see that I was blessed beyond reason, beyond what I was due,

That He let me carry on this life without interference while

A spinneret of belief stretched from the stars to my hand,

Enough to hold me but not prevent me

From tangling with the world.

Will I pull a shawl around my shoulders and

Remember how I sat by the fire and listened

To the soporific rain that ended the game on the 8th hole,

Rain after a drought like crazy grace, like baptism, like

Freedom with abandon, like an invitation from the universe

To a party that’s been going on all along, but you didn’t know

Will I adjust my glasses with arthritic hands and

Remember this life

Think just how fast it has all gone,

That I have just been alive for a breath,

The time it takes to awaken and think your first thought,

And about to go into Dylan’s good night,

Or will the intervening years

Reap pain and loss from seeds earlier sown

And will I say

I can’t recall that

I can’t recall that at all.

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