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November 8, 2008 The New School, New York City From the Academy Audio Archive

About this poet

Cecily Parks is the author of the poetry collections O'Nights (Alice James Books, 2015) and Field Folly Snow (University of Georgia Press, 2008) and the editor of The Echoing Green: Poems of Fields, Meadows, and Grasses (Everyman's Library, 2016). She teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Texas State University.

I Lost My Horse

I was looking for an animal, calf or lamb,
in the wire, metal and hair along the fence line.
Wire, metal and hair and there, in the gully, a man

I was pretending was dead. I pretended
to leave him where the woods met the meadow,
walking fast because I’d left my horse lashed

to a fence I lost track of two valleys
ago. Like a horse, I shied from the dead.
Here, calf. Here, lamb. I listened, wanting

(without my horse, my calf or lamb) to be
whipsmart rather than wanted. I wore orange
on antelope season’s first afternoon 

and waited for the click that means the safety is
off. When I spoke, my story was about picking
skulls clean. I wanted everything to be

afraid of me, the horseless girl who wanted
to kill a dead man again. The white bed
with a window behind its headboard became

ice on the meadow road and a tree to stop
a truck dead. I meant to trace my boot steps
back to the fence where things went wrong,

find my horse mouthing the bit, tied up by her
reins. I looked for the horse because she looked
safe enough to love. I looked for the calf

or lamb because there was no calf or lamb.
The man left before I could leave him, and I pretended
the world was afraid of me because I was alone.

Copyright © 2008 by Cecily Parks. “I Lost My Horse” originally appeared in Field Folly Snow (University of Georgia Press, 2008). Used with permission of the author.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Cecily Parks. “I Lost My Horse” originally appeared in Field Folly Snow (University of Georgia Press, 2008). Used with permission of the author.

 

Cecily Parks

Cecily Parks

Cecily Parks is the author of the poetry collections O'Nights (Alice James Books, 2015) and Field Folly Snow (University of Georgia Press, 2008) and the editor of The Echoing Green: Poems of Fields, Meadows, and Grasses (Everyman's Library, 2016). She teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Texas State University.

by this poet

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Solstice dabbles behind the hills, whitefire at the horizon well into what should be evening, well into after, meting out to what should be the privacy of night illumination enough to fray the sky.   

Black wings snuff out the owlish air in the cottonwood’s elephant silhouette, readying a backlit section of

2
poem

The grackles plummet down to pierce the lawn

For seeds and fat brown live oak acorns and

Ignore the orange plastic watering cans

My daughters drop in the cold grass, my daughters

Saying, Goodnight grass, as if the blades they’d watered

By hand were their daughters, as if the grass

poem

Apache Plum
Mexican Blazing Star
Blue Agave
Cherokee Sedge
Mexican devil-weed
Mexican elderberry
Esperanza
Fall Obedient Plant
Mexican feathergrass
Gaura
Mexican hat
Indian blanket
Jimsonweed
Mexican juniper
Kingcup Cactus
Lluvia de Oro