More on poetry from The Atlantic Monthly.

Also by Robert Wrigley:
Highway 12, Just East of Paradise, Idaho (2001)

The Atlantic Monthly | October 2001
Winter Bale

by Robert Wrigley
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Not a scent so much as a bouquet
of smells, that stable: old wood, horseflesh,
the sweet round buds of manure;
molasses, oats, leather, hay.

In the ancient bushel basket a nest
of twine, now the red taut plunk of it cut
from the bale, as puffed up
out of the flakes comes dust

from the fields a year before,
and a stiff, sleepy bull snake oozes
across the cold floor and into the stall
where the edgy stallion waits for hay.

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Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; October 2001; Winter Bale; Volume 288, No. 3; 58.