“The Old Mare” By Eric Schabla

Out in the pole corral
tethered to a shoot of cypress
the old mare
is most of the time chewing
or farting or shitting
or some potent
combination of these,

eyes lidless to the night
oracular and half blind
as though the freight
of her long life
were somehow
visible to her there
in aggregate;

driven from the range
as she was,
this wilding filly
plucked from a feral
transitory career
on the causeway of the stars.

The hitch you tied
with great faith
to moor
this sightless creature
to the shifting world
is a hollow gesture
a lie agreed upon

for tonight you walk down
with pails of sweet feed
tucked under arm

and place this offering
before her where she stands

mute
and numinous
beneath the heavy sky.

old one, will you tell me about my death?


Eric is a poet, playwright, and professional actor based in the Midwest. His poetry has appeared in Ivory Tower Magazine, Pidgeonholes Poetry, and three editions of Z Publishing’s AMERICA’S BEST EMERGING POETS series, among others. When he isn’t writing he can be seen on regional stages throughout the United States. He works with horses in his spare time and is an avid backpacker.

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