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About this poet

Zachary Schomburg is the author of The Book of Joshua (Black Ocean, 2014). He coedits Octopus Books and lives in Portland, Oregon.

Testy Pony

Zachary Schomburg

I am given a pony for my birthday, but it is the wrong kind of pony. It is the kind of pony that won't listen. It is testy. When I ask it to go left, it goes right. When I ask it to run, it sleeps on its side in the tall grass. So when I ask it to jump us over the river into the field I have never before been, I have every reason to believe it will fail, that we will be swept down the river to our deaths. It is a fate for which I am prepared. The blame of our death will rest with the testy pony, and with that, I will be remembered with reverence, and the pony will be remembered with great anger. But with me on its back, the testy pony rears and approaches the river with unfettered bravery. Its leap is glorious. It clears the river with ease, not even getting its pony hooves wet. And then there we are on the other side of the river, the sun going down, the pony circling, looking for something to eat in the dirt. Real trust is to do so in the face of clear doubt, and to trust is to love. This is my failure, and for that I cannot be forgiven.

Copyright © 2010 by Zachary Schomburg. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2010 by Zachary Schomburg. Used with permission of the author.

Zachary Schomburg

Zachary Schomburg

Zachary Schomburg is the author of The Book of Joshua (Black Ocean, 2014).

by this poet

poem

I’m in a carousel.
The kind that spins
people to the wall.
There is a woman
and a man and a man
inside of it too,
and a man operating it.
Everybody I love is
looking down at me,
laughing. When I die,
I’ll die alone.
I know that much,
held down by my

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