Wailana by Deborah Butterfield


For Jody

Head bowed a scaffolded horse

mummers the ghostly song of wind

moving through skeletal bronze-

is she hurt, exhausted, starved;

something seems, not quite right?

Like a found poem with the familiar

refashioned, she was first constructed

of the commonplace, wood, scrap                            

metal, branches, junkyard stuff, plastic

a collage of the ordinary

then forged in bronze.

In winter snow gathers on her back.

In summer her patina blazes with sunlight.

In spring she gleams with rain droplets-

a horse for all seasons.

She has survived many years 

but there comes a time.  

She stands alone, riderless, tackless

She has always been riderless

never owned by anyone but the wind

And if she were to loosen her hoofs

walk off into the distance she would

lift off, smoothly, flowingly

with the fluidity of winged