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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, October 9, 2017.
About this Poem 
“Last summer, we had to say goodbye to the beloved horse who had been part of our family for sixteen years. It was Donovan who taught my daughters to ride.”
—Linda Gregerson
 

Narrow Flame

Sun at the zenith. Greening
            earth.
  Slight buckling of the left
 
hind leg. And all this while
            the girl
  at his ear good boy and now
 
the hip giving way and mildly as
            was ever
  his wont the lovely
 
heft of him lists toward the field
            that minutes 
  ago was still so sweet for 
 
grazing and good boy and on the
            ground 
  now where the frightening 
 
last shudder of lungs that we’ve been 
            warned about
  does thank you darling does 
 
not come and feeling for a pulse 
            no pulse
  and warning us touching 
 
the liquid eye which does not 
            close which
  means the slender needle with
 
its toxic everlastingness has done
            its job 
  good boy unbuckling the
 
halter lifting the beautiful head
            to her 
  lap and all this while the girl
 

Copyright © 2017 by Linda Gregerson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 9, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Linda Gregerson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 9, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Linda Gregerson

Linda Gregerson

Linda Gregerson’s book Waterborne won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize, and her book The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. She currently serves as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

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Dark still. Twelve degrees below freezing. 
            Tremor along
      the elegant, injured right front

leg of the gelding on the cross-ties. Kneeling 
            girl.
      The undersong of waters as she bathes

the leg in yet more cold. [tongue is broken] 
            [god to me]
      Her hair the
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Choose any angle you like, she said,
the world is split in two. On one side, health

and dumb good luck (or money, which can pass
for both), and elsewhere . . . well,

they're eight days from the nearest town,
the parents are frightened, they think it's their fault,

the child isn't able to suck. A thing
so
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At the foot of the download anchored
                                             among
                                   the usual flotsam of ads,

this link: to plastics-express.com who for
                                             a fraction
                                   of the

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