Revising Oneself

Grades are in and I've begun work on two manuscript revisions -- the poetry (always and forever, it seems) and one more round on PEARL'S ALCHEMY (I'm reading through the whole thing while waiting on my agent for comments). Of course, sometimes it's good right away, and here's a poem that -- at least in memory -- came through pretty clearly the first time. "Then" has been published twice, once by CROSSCURRENTS, and once in the anthology from Yarroway Mountain Press, A CADENCE OF HOOVES.

"It is no sign of weakness or defeat that your manuscript ends up in need of major surgery. This is common in all writing and among the best of writers." E.B. White


When she was a girl and he was her horse,
she would lie on the grass at his feet (which she

would have been careful to call his hooves)
summer days, and he would take up the grass

in his teeth, his great yellow, beastly teeth,
even the grass mingled with her hair,

teasing her as if he would bite her hair,
though he never did. Standing at the barn door,

he would rub his long nose down her back.
Once, after a yawn (listening to her with her silly friends),

he closed his jaws around her arm
and shook it, mildly impatient as a husband.

And if you had asked her then, What is love?
she could so easily have told you.


And now that grades are in, I will also be 1) going to the gym, and 2) taking long naps.


  1. I understand the poem, the girl, the horse, knowing the perfect love, that passes understanding for those who have never experienced such love as this. Simply beautiful. Love, Carolynne

  2. My old professor, Nelson Bentley, used to say, "recurring memories are poems asking to be written!" This one came just that way.


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