The Problem of Wild Horses
“Many wild horses are small, scrawny, and often undernourished. . . . Yet, these wild horses are increasing at an astonishing rate.”
—Dr. Walt Conley
Wild horses graze under a ripening
moon up country in Carson Forest.
Unlike tame horses who lie down
in stalls, they will sleep
all night under the stars,
tails giving an occasional
flip against flies.
It’s good they don’t know
how old they are, or that
winter is always coming, or
that somewhere there are bins
of grain and bales of hay.
Wild horsed gallop on the dry
river-bed. Red flags quiver
in their nostrils when they run.
They don’t know to be ashamed
of their washboard ribs.
At night if I close my eyes
tame mares and geldings go through
their paces shining and predictable.
So I lie with my eyes open, hoping
to see the watering-hole where
wild horses drink. If I am lucky,
some night I might even lie
beside them, sucking the good water
between my teeth.