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M A R C H   1 9 9 6

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by Henri Cole

Hear Henri Cole read this poem (in RealAudio):

RA 28.8, RA 14.4

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Also by Henri Cole:
Childlessness (1997)

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Setting out on my bicycle alone,
I came upon the horses
drenched in bright sunshine,
yard after yard of blue-black ironed silk,
drawn before stopped traffic.

With white stars on their foreheads
and white bracelets on their legs,
each blood horse wore nothing
but a fine noseband
and a shroud of steam.

I felt lazy and vicious watching them,
with my large joints and big head,
stricken by thoughts of my brothers.
If only the barbarous horsemen
could lead us down the path, unestranged.

It smashed in me like water galloped through.
Tottering there on my haunches,
with wide nostrils,
nipping the air as if it were green grass,
how I yearned for my neck to be brushed!

Copyright © 1996 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; March 1996; Horses; Volume 277, No. 3; page 68.

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