Jeff Knorr: “Release”


The wild horses come down to the river to drink
and eat the grassy hummocks along the bank.

Their coats shine in the late summer sun, the canyon
rim towers above us. I know you would love to see them;

you’ve only heard my stories of these horses.
Three summers ago I watched this canyon burn,

and now the regrowth brings them.
Biology tells us intense heat opens seeds—

even the scorpionweed grows back. When you’re out,
the lockdown over, parole is off, we’ll float this water,

let your heart run like the river, catch a few fish,
then sit under the stars with a little whiskey

free, where unbranded horses
roam the draws for years.

Jeff Knorr is the author of the four books of poetry, The Color of a New Country (Mammoth Books 2017), The Third Body (Cherry Grove Collections), Keeper (Mammoth Books), and Standing Up to the Day (Pecan Grove Press). His other works include Mooring Against the Tide: Writing Poetry and Fiction (Prentice Hall); the anthology, A Writer’s Country (Prentice Hall); and The River Sings: An Introduction to Poetry (Prentice Hall). His poetry and essays have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies. Jeff Knorr is Professor of literature and creative writing at Sacramento City College.

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