V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




Jake's great blonde sides heave
in the cold of the February barn,
two feet of packed snow
against board and batten walls.

Up the road into the farm,
Margaret sleeps against the ticking
of the wood stove down to ash.
Her boots freeze to the floor,

her dreams search out Jake's lost eye,
first clouded, then blind, then gone.
She fingers the velvet dip
between his tobacco-stained mane

and his cheek bone veins,
the socket as smooth and empty
as a toy. Off in the black trees
the sap is slowly climbing

the tall trunks of the maples
sucking sweetness
from the roots to stay alive.
Jake shakes away from the one

dark side of his stall. He snorts
a hot breath into the night,
steam he can see. Soon the light
will crack the sliding door,

Margaret will bring hot mash.
Soon he'll shoulder with Ben,
again the double yoke,
the dark eye inside the pair

the bright one wide
above the mud crusted snow.


© by Crystal Bacon


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