Waiting to Die
I let the horse live
because we were both going nowhere, he
with his leg twisted beneath him, lying on the ground
me, with my pockets empty and nothing but a horse
to keep me company.
He couldn’t run even after his leg healed up
couldn’t carry much on his back without stumbling
so I set up camp where the accident had happened
spent most nights sleeping against the horse’s warm back.
Eventually other people came through the valley
wanted to talk to me, mostly
to ask directions, ask where the nearest town was
ask what I was doing, sitting there, propped up against a lame horse.
I mostly pretended I was too simple to answer
only responding when they asked me why I didn’t just kill the
poor old crooked no-good beast
told them it was none of their business what I did
with my own damned horse.
Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, while her recently published books include Music Theory for Dummies (3rd edition), Piano All-in-One for Dummies, The Book Of, and Nordeast Minneapolis: A History.