We’ve come back to the farm—
to the animal responsibility.
To haul their hay, scarce and heavy, still breathing,
Into the loft of the second floor—where we’re building
a temple to summer.
Back to the horse in the straw
and the straw in the water—
black to the block of salt.
You should walk in with us, over
the black floor where the mulehearted pump
sweats to lift ice water. Once like a rose a newborn
mouse curled unawares in the thwart of a rafter.
Its veins, its minute purple heart.
The sickle makes like a fingernail moon
above the pony manger…manger, to eat,
though the timothy is not yet ready—it moves and murmurs
Under its blue-green shakos.
Have you seen these grateful beasts—
chewing through their lines, leaning on the wire
rolling and rolling any bare place
into a wallow to be free from the dust
of the stall and the stale air?
You should cling to the halter like a fool like I do
when the pony tears off
Through the greenbrier. For you, Dev, she was a circus pony, you two
taking jump after jump.
And we have never gone into the evening field
to call them home by name and the hour
Without waiting for their murmurs and softest cells.
To know the mills and throngs of what we are.
You should walk in with us after dark
--through the clanking gate, and up the yellow-pine planks
hands and flake and breath of clover.
You should stand there with us awhile
the night’s ration given
the battered pails filled.
*poet from USA
work of artist Gitta Pardoel