When the night’s stallion
approaches us over the yellowing fields,
we see shafts of lonliness
in his eyes. The last wild flowers
have gone with the mares
he whinnied to, over the high-barred gate.
A barbed mockery of thorn-trees
and the two of us – jesting to catch
leaves feathering down – share
the hillside with the coal-hewn stallion.
Once, he had broken free, his spine
bridging the moor and the village,
hooves clicking the tongues of sleep.
Now, pushing flanks against staked branches,
he mules his raked flesh.
by Mike Jenkins
from Invisible Times