The Gray and the Brown


All morning long the gray and the brown

lower their tapered heads, nibble


grass covered in mud from a recent rain.

It is warm for winter, but horses know


nothing of seasons save the sun

is a weightless rider and needs no saddle.


Come noon, they canter around the field

in tandem, carrying


nothing but light. Then they halt

like a horse and its shadow, motionless


as Paleolithic paintings in a cave —

a moment so fleeting and perfect, clouds


form in the shape of horses, gallop across

the sky in homage.

—Terri Kirby Erickson

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