Eclogue

by Dominic Leonard

The horses are dying.
We have been watching it for months.
Sad and tired, and most weak. I tell them,
Reality is hard enough without
Facing reality, pity
And no reprieve. No luck
No little moon of guidance. Bad
For the thimbleful soul. The grass
Pickles in the rain, heavy hedges
Gone sour; the wind blows the
Wind, whither it be
Gone to, what then. I show them.
They have left the river
Alone, now.
Locked out, sleeping
Their quarter of field.
The world stops at the field edge.
Beyond that it is not the world.
In the excelsis of slow almond
Snow, ajar and trembling their manes
Stop our hearts, their
Tin-strength, hoof-still. Everything
I have said I go back to. Everything I have
Written I put on the back of each
Horse. They bronzed and waned
And we buried them.