An Old Horse

Poem By Rory Hudson

An old horse was put out to pasture
in these fields, having won many a race,
having been patted and fondled by many a dignitary and celebrity,
themselves now long forgotten;
having been named and cheered in many a newspaper
since used for wrapping scraps of food and lining bins.

Wearily he chewed there
on a little hay and grass,
grateful for the stranger who might stop when passing by
and offer a warm hand to pat his nose.

From time to time he drank water from a pond
in which was reflected the blue of summer skies
and his own image, twisted with ripples,
thirstily plunged into the surface which it broke.

We forget, do we not? that once he had a mare
and sired a lot of equine progeny
who in their turn acquired their fame.
Where are they now? perhaps in his thoughts
and memories, they live still
as he wanders through the field.

You shrug your shoulders, and ask,
“How can anybody know
the thoughts of a horse? ”
Well, in my life,
I too have run in many a race -
sometimes won, sometimes lost;
sometimes happy, sometimes not.

I am content to chew
quietly on the remnants of life
and I am grateful, friends,
for a kind word that may be said
from time to time in passing by.

I see my image reflected and twisted in strange forms -
I do not always like what I see;
I prefer the blue sky above me
that is unfractured and keeps me warm.

And once I had in reality
that which is now a memory
which connected me to a world
now shrunken to a field
over which birds fly
and horses roam.

Comments about An Old Horse

I could hear you reciting that around a fire in the middle of the mulger somewhere and a shiver ran up me spine - fair dinkum.
Oh Wow, tears it brought....never a truer word written - man does forget unfortunately Regards- Cindy
that was amazing what a true right 10+

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and so pleases nobody.


(For Londiwe Buthelezi, who published a fine poem on the same theme here last week.)

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