Poem for Thalia

POETRY CONTEST WINNER


BY ELIZABETH ONESS

Read by Dana Kordsmeier

The aging broodmares bloom in the meadow
and lift their noses to the north.

They are a counter-balance to cataracts,
oxygen tanks, and surgery.

You study the back of the flea-bitten grey,
her flesh scarred by hooves.

The price of begetting is rippage and scars,
but after the long winter

her dark teats are waxing and her bags
are growing full.

Cornflower, wild carrot, swallows dipping
through the barn,

Sunlight on the porch step, the kicked-off Crocs,
the faded fence—.

The mare lies in the pasture, then tries to rise,
front legs a bridge,

hocks and fetlocks unfolding. She grunts the way
a tired person pushes from a chair.

Come June, the foal’s hooves will be cauled
by fleshy curls, worn

as they tamp the stones and turf
of this radiant, dispassionate earth.


Elizabeth Oness is a poet and fiction writer who lives on a biodynamic farm in Southeast Minnesota. Her books include: Articles of Faith, Departures, Twelve Rivers of the Body, Fallibility, and Leaving Milan.  Elizabeth is married to C. Mikal Oness, and she directs marketing and development for Sutton Hoo Press, a literary fine press.  She is a Professor of English at Winona State University.

Image Credit: Kirk Jordan

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