Summer 1989 • Vol. XI No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1989 |

The Wild Horses

The horses imagined by a boy Who cannot get himself to sleep Are grazing so deep within a story He cannot say what it means to keep Such things inside and at a distance; They are a silent governance He feels but cannot name. The horses change, and are the same. They run miles farther than the meadows In which he sees them run. They have no shadows, Are unceasing, and they never die. What he feels when watching them is like a cry Heard somewhere else, and neither pain Nor happiness in it, but sustained Like a long note played in an empty room. And that is how he waits for sleep, which soon Takes him deeper than the fastest animal As he tunnels clockwise in a fall, The meadows rising through him, then gone Somewhere above, until alone He sees the horses turn in one long curve That rounds them back where nothing moves, And he knows that they were always blind, Running from what they heard each time The wind would shift, running away Because they could not see their way. To him, the

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Wyatt Prunty’s latest poetry collection is Couldn’t Prove, Had to Promise. He lives in Sewanee, where he is the Ogden D. Carlton Professor in Sewanee’s English Department. He directs the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Tennessee Fellowship Series. He edits the Johns Hopkins Poetry and Fiction Series.

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