The horses

The Horse of Pride, curried, pert, caparisoned in star-white, capers like a danseur chancing the spotlight. The White Horse of Will, battling the reins, head thrown back, nose alert in the November air. Off, into a gallop (no, smoother than a gallop; a flight), catching at the path, left, right, carrying down the hills, brushing through the conifers that dust snow across your eyes. The Horse of Sorrow, stampeding the corral, a blind run . . . coming to a halt on the frozen pond. Calling. Rearing up. Calling again. The Gray Mare, Memory, crossing the greening pasture, wandering up through the woods of paper birch and willow, skirting the beat path, miring herself in the thicket at your lead - and finally, lost. You give her her head, and she goes home. The Horse of Summer, straw-maned and slender-necked, picking tart fruit from the low branches - the apples so yellow they vanish in the sunlight. The Dappled Horse of Wonder, sighted on the pine crest, lost in a winking; sighted again in a moonless Fall sky. Night after night, I can see by the beating of your eyes: you are riding. With whom? Where? Call out - promise - I will meet you there.

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