Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Narrow Flame

Sun at the zenith. Greening
            earth.
  Slight buckling of the left
 
hind leg. And all this while
            the girl
  at his ear good boy and now
 
the hip giving way and mildly as
            was ever
  his wont the lovely
 
heft of him lists toward the field
            that minutes 
  ago was still so sweet for 
 
grazing and good boy and on the
            ground 
  now where the frightening 
 
last shudder of lungs that we’ve been 
            warned about
  does thank you darling does 
 
not come and feeling for a pulse 
            no pulse
  and warning us touching 
 
the liquid eye which does not 
            close which
  means the slender needle with
 
its toxic everlastingness has done
            its job 
  good boy unbuckling the
 
halter lifting the beautiful head
            to her 
  lap and all this while the girl
 

Credit


Copyright © 2017 by Linda Gregerson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 9, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“Last summer, we had to say goodbye to the beloved horse who had been part of our family for sixteen years. It was Donovan who taught my daughters to ride.”
—Linda Gregerson
 

Author


Linda Gregerson

Linda Gregerson’s book Waterborne won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize, and her book The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. She currently serves as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Date Published: 2017-10-09

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/narrow-flame-0