Borrowed Horses

fantasia1Mood: Tasty
Drinking: Canned

Someone in a poetry group I belong to recently shared a poem by Cecilia Woloch.

I’ve never ready any of Cecilia’s work before, but this one is very lovely, and reminds me a lot of my own memories of bareback rides through woods with my sister.

So I thought I’d borrow it and share it here, because it’s exactly the kind of poem that should be out there in the world, garnering all kinds of accolades and adoration…

(A technical note: A “pantoum” is a form of poetry similar to the villanelle. You can find the definition here, if you’re interested.)

Bareback Pantoum
by Cecilia Woloch

One night, bareback and young, we rode through the woods
and the woods were on fire —
two borrowed horses, two local boys
whose waists we clung to, my sister and I

and the woods were on fire —
the pounding of hooves and the smell of smoke and the sharp sweat of boys
whose waists we clung to, my sister and I,
as we rode toward flame with the sky in our mouths —

the pounding of hooves and the smell of smoke and the sharp sweat of boys
and the heart saying: mine
as we rode toward flame with the sky in our mouths —

the trees turning gold, then crimson, white

and the heart saying: mine
of the wild, bright world;
the trees turning gold, then crimson, white
as they burned in the darkness, and we were girls

of the wild, bright world
of the woods near our house — we could turn, see the lights
as they burned in the darkness, and we were girls
so we rode just to ride

through the woods near our house — we could turn, see the lights
and the horses would carry us, carry us home
so we rode just to ride,
my sister and I, just to be close to that danger, desire

and the horses would carry us, carry us home
— two borrowed horses, two local boys,
my sister and I — just to be close to that danger, desire —
one night, bareback and young, we rode through the woods

-Lo, who can feel the hoofbeats pounding beneath the lines.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: