sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox
In Westport the small French cart
of the voyageurs earned the name mule-killer.
Once Shawnee was the lingua franca
up and down the Mississippi,
then mollassi became molasses.
For the bringing of the horse
it is said much can be forgiven: burn
of Missouri whiskey and aching molars,
lunatic fevers of cholera,
even those men
born astride. Rare beast to share
that weight on such fine and slender legs.