Running With Horses

(Christmas 1981 For Christmas 1998)

Horses running,
through gates joining me
along the fences, large
breathing close to me
we ran together,
frail against the rushing
the force, the mass, the fear rising

Candles in brown paper bags
along the roads that evening
at Arroyo Secco, a high plateau
village beneath sacred mountain
illuminating the roads, earth stars
celebrating Christmas until dawn

the paths horse and man together
connect the species universally
the moist flank by my cheek
the breath, the pounding hooves
by my soft clad feet
we are Indians in tune with nature…

we are not, are not in tune
afraid of power in the flesh.
with the horses coming from fields
on both sides pressing about
how small we are, how unused.

the candles for the dying year
for the souls in the road
for the shortened time
for the diminished family
for the attenuated spirit
for our fear of death

the mahogany flanks rush
all on and on, the moment
life is the moment, this one
flying along the irrigation ditches
in fear and exaltation..