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Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


    for J.

Heart, be capable--
gather yourself for the mountain path
bearing with goodwill the burdens
others impose as does
the horse that loves work.
But the horse loves, likewise,
to run, to drink silently
of cool waters,
roll in grass, stand in shade.
Although it allows mastery
the horse does not need it;
it may kick and buck. Attend to that.
If you are willing, don the traces,
pull for love, you are more
than capable. If you must run, remember:
of that, you are also capable.


The curse is gone, now, and you
have become human--handsome, average,
grateful for my perseverance.
It is no trial to share your bed.
But the shape of my love has altered;
that which surmounted obstacles
finds itself a little unchallenged.

Don't feel hurt if I love you best
by candlelight, when shadows distort
your body into what would be monstrous
to some other woman; I am not afraid.
I like it when your eyes take on
a yellow gleam. Let your nails grow long,
let no convention dictate to us
what beauty is.


Allah told the wind it must
condense itself. Thunderbird sent
Sacred Dogs. Eohippus consumed
fruit, dawn flowers just beginning
to wave wind-borne pollen over
the water-receding world
that had never felt the pounding
of hooves, nor sown a grass crop
over distances through the
movements of herds, nor rung
with the cries of stallions. Imagine:
In this era no thrush, no nightingale.
Not-yet-a-horse takes in the horizon
scanning for predators; eyes
enlarge, muzzle narrows.
Flesh around nostrils silkens,
sense of smell heightens; large lips
graze, sheltering high-crowned teeth.
Foot bones fuse, that third toe taking
the weight and the loose long stride
as slim tendons lengthen.
Spurning the winged shoulders
archaeopteryx and its kin engender
the grazer is, nonetheless, breeze-over-earth,
spring-footed, brought forth
under the wind's cloudy pinions
to thump earth like thunder,
reverberate in air, inspire the rein.

Copyright 2007, Ann E. Michael. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Ann E. Michael is the author of three poetry chapbooks. Her poems and essays have appeared in literary and educational journals as well as on the air (radio) and online. She's a past recipient of a PA Council on the Arts Poetry fellowship and has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. Currently, she lives in eastern PA, where she is writing coordinator at DeSales University. Her not-very-up-to-date website is www.annemichael.com.