I pat the horses’ heads as I walk by. They’re gentle beasts, and friendly; they don’t mind. The gesture heartens me. I don’t know why. At first, they did not trust me; they were shy, suspicious. Maybe I don’t seem the kind to pat a horse’s head as I go by, And maybe I am not. I can’t deny that might not seem a move I’d be inclined to make toward great dumb brutes, and I know why: They’re alien; they’re stubborn; they defy their handlers. They’re not safe to walk behind. I pat the horses’ heads as I walk by, Then stop at one, and peer deep in his eye. There’s sense, I sense, yet not much I can find. But still, that heartens me. I don’t know why, Except, a fellow creature’s there that I can stretch a hand to, ignorant and blind, that makes me feel a bond as I walk by. That gesture heartens me. I don’t know why.
Copyright © 2005 by Bruce Bennett. From Web-Watching. Reprinted with permission of Bright Hill Press.