One, to see the horses still stand,
wind moving manes or sun tilting morning shadows
onto wires and posts enclosing the pasture;
to have them caught in moment and web,
early hum of birds lifting from oaks.
Two, to find them sound upon hooves,
no mare or gelding limping, not one with colic,
not one crone prone and immovable; but—
nod or toss of head, a foot drumming hard ground;
breath and fart and hack on dust in hay.
Three, because the world we roam is unsound,
storms brewing south and west and north,
daylight diminishing; ascensions and declensions,
switchbacks, and flats where water
cannot stand where it should.
Four, because that’s how counting works,
dimes made of our lovelies parceled out,
and deep things, down things,
sweet coins spent and spent again.
The coffee cup cast empty except of need.
Five, because, so long as the horses
are alive, all muscled and beautiful,
what remains fresh and true is grass
blue across morning fields,
things yet as they should be,
perfect, permanent, unretractable.