A once resplendent roan
lying on its side, legs flailing,
as if it thought—
as if, in its final moment
it could think at all—
that it was still running,
wild and free.
So disdainful, so high-spirited,
breathing patrician defiance
with its last sad wisps of breath…
Could it have known that its kind master
whose gentle sweetness I,
a fourteen-year-old city boy,
once had longed to emulate,
had sought only to tame its wilder excesses,
crashing the wooden club down
on the very top of its skull,
to oppose the highest point
on the arc of its insubordinate leap?
Across an immense span of memory
I reached out and stroked its mane,
and as it nuzzled my soft, healing hand
I reassembled the shards of its skull,
and its legs stopped flailing,
with unimaginable intention,
and it sprang up in the green meadow,
sprang up and bounded away.
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