APPLES FOR THE NEIGHBOR’S HORSE

~remembering Shadow

The neighbor’s muddy burr-maned horse
cropped the short September grass
beside the rusty fence.
I offered an apple on my open palm.

She took it gently,
broke it with her yellow teeth.
Every morning that autumn
she waited for me,

plodded toward the fence,
whickered her hello.
Every morning
I gave her an apple.

My neighbor believes in God,
every marvelous and contradictory word:
Repent and be saved, Subdue the Earth, 
Wives submit, and Spare the rod.

The horse is buried in the meadow.
She was old, and lame.
He shot her early in the spring,
my neighbor who knows God’s name.

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