Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Weigh

  by Linda Gregg
two chestnut colored horses nuzzling each other
Two horses were put together in the same paddock.
Night and day. In the night and in the day
wet from heat and the chill of the wind
on it. Muzzle to water, snorting, head swinging
and the taste of bay in the shadowed air.
The dignity of being. They slept that way,
knowing each other always.
Withers quivering for a moment,
fetlock and the proud rise at the base of the tail,
width of back. The volume of them, and each other's weight.
Fences were nothing compared to that.
People were nothing. They slept standing,
their throats curved against the other's rump.
They breathed against each other,
whinnied and stomped.
There are things they did that I do not know.
The privacy of them had a river in it.
Had our universe in it. And the way
its border looks back at us with its light.
This was finally their freedom.
The freedom an oak tree knows.
That is built at night by stars.

from: All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems. Copyright 2009. 


  1. I like a lot of this--especially the throats curved. The ending--especially those last two lines--don't fit the rest, though. What is the "its" with border? A river's border doesn't have light. A universe doesn't have a border. It doesn't build as an image. How do stars build a tree?

    1. Sometimes if you squint or look out of the corner of your eye you can see things you don't see when you look straight on. It's the same with poetry. If you step back from the literal you can sense wider meanings. To me it seems to be saying that the edges of things are fluid.

  2. Heh. I changed tenses there in revising my sentence and then didn't proofread, but you can consider there's a really hick southern accent goin' on with "the ending don't fit the rest..."