28 Was beginning. ``Calmly,'' she said. ``Now go.'' The sleet slicked the fire escape's iron steps And our uncovered heads until eighteen Of us, silently descending, broke loose From the brick wall, our bodies flung against A railing that rescued us like firemen. ``Hurry now,'' she said, ``go down,'' and we did, Assembling like a choir, everybody Singing the same chorus that morning, safe Until we climbed the main stairs to our room From which, like theirs, no exit existed But the long, luminous stride into air. Alison Stine Judas Horse Early morning, the broken surf, we awake to stiffening cries. The mare is shot in the water. When hurt, animals recall each other; the wounded horse becomes the cat, then the catbird's wails. All season, the sand seeded with squid or whale or birds in oil. Now a bullet lodges in a horse's 29 throat, near bloodless, neat as an egg. There is a kind of shocked green this spring, as if the forsythia, past its bloom, sprung from a chemical pool. Or the azaleas, not content with purple, white, mauve, have formed a fourth petal, bright with rain. A rancher lets his horses loose, knowing next
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jan 1, 2008
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