Sometimes when I walked
I admired the stillness
of the horses in the field, happy
dog along, disjointed lope
all nosing, snuffling by the fence.
Come summer they reminded me
of combines tearing up the dirt, then
winter brought a coat and boots
sparse pickings and hay dumped
by the barred steel gate.
I once saw Lippizanners work.
Their hall ornate, with chandeliers
and windows way above head height
that let in white October
excited by the kicked up dust.
A pair of posts grew from the floor
that must have reached eight feet
with rings and a chain
though I never saw them used
just the stallions in collection
cantering, water over falls. The men
on the ground
had long whips capped
by narrow threads that sang
and the stallions eyes
darted as they listened
for the whistling air, inevitable
by Neil Flatman
Editor’s Note: The title of this poem takes what might be simply some lovely imagery, or a memory, and turns it on its head.