Sometimes They Keep a Horse

by Sarah Sousa

Sometimes they keep a horse in the pen,
a stout horse beside his batten shed.
Some days that plot is empty,
fence posts stand like bitten fingers.

A stout horse beside his sway-backed shed—
the daughter’s horse, daughter’s gone;
fence posts like missing fingers.
Comes the man from town with soothing sounds and rope.

The daughter’s horse. Daughter’s gone.
A clothesline flaps with clipped wings,
whisperings and rope.
Sometimes they keep a horse beside the roses.

The clothesline flaps with clipped wings
out of a painting in lime and ochre.
See the horse? See the roses?
No. That plot is empty.

Last updated June 19, 2019