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Sport 40: 2012

Dad’s horses

page 421

Dad’s horses

Dad’s horses darkened out the sun.

They were chests and legs,
I was at their knees looking up
at the lode star of the stirrup,
at my four storey father.

I’d meet him on the road
he’d put me up on the saddle
while he walked below
and I held the world,
the whole sky swelling.

At three, he let me hold the reins.
A bird burst out, startled the horse.
Concussed, I was put to bed,
stones chattering in my ear.

We had to learn bareback.
His horses were slippery rippled
we clung like monkeys.
Got straight back on.
Sat up.
I copy Dad’s model of the upright style—
Dad and Kimmy over wire
in the Hunter Class
at the Dannevirke Show—
they jump across the walls of my flats, houses

In rain, in wind, the hills lean in while he gets smaller
and I kick and kick my pony to keep in sight.

He rides on in front. I want to call
him back, cry, Wait.