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Horse and Crow in Field II
By Shannon Jonas

The crow’s eye is moist; a misted field, rainwater held
in a tin cup, a settling sandbar: and watches the piebald
mare emanate from the pines. And like waking

to a burning candle, the crow’s eye shrinks, startled.
(There has been word of rain from the thunder in rocks,
of midnight, and burning tress.) It is a slow, pregnant

tread that brings her to the ford, a swath of washout
from the gristmill, and her hooves wade through the silt
and rising alluvium, and gelatinous, soft-veined leaves.

The crow’s eye is a filling vial, a spy to the birthing;
the mare, forgetting herself to the blear of storm.
And the colt will live through the rainfall and hail,

quick and un-scavenged, scent of moss. (The crow will roost,
its eye, nocturnal, forgetting, like the shed caul turned black
and brittle from open sun.) Once broken, the colt will hear

the cries of crows as rusted, renounced, spoons
tied with flax, hung from a beam, a rustle and tinny,
and mope its weight along the furrow that measures

the field’s length and flinch when it finds the former skin.

Stickman End of Poem

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