V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




This week, a foal, auburn and awkward, emerges
from the barn down the road. Presses close
to the mare as they trot inside the fence.
Lies in the grass, flapping its tail like a wing.

It’s all the rage of the neighborhood.

The owner raises race horses,
though he told me he bet only once in his life—
after his son-in-law died in a car crash.
He won, gave the money to his daughter.

He’s been retired a long time now.

He once taught English, then became superintendent.
Before that, the Philippines: his tour where he kept MacArthur's
word. And before that, the orphanage where he met his late wife,
a childhood with nerve amid the world’s first breakdown.

So this is his afterlife: Racing against beasts

and time. Every year, birthing new hope,
then tethering it to the earth. Each foal a scandal
of particular beauty, its legs, like his, surveying
the soft lay of land. The sun resting

on each shoulder like a hand.


© by Julie L. Moore


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