A new prose poem by Palmerston North poet Tim Upperton.
The riderless horses
One evening that summer a riderless horse galloped along our road, empty stirrups slapping. We ran up the driveway screaming to our mother. Quick, inside! she said. She shut and locked the door, closed the windows. The horse tried the door handle, its large eye pressed to the keyhole. It prowled around the house, the fume of its breath misting the windows. It couldn’t get in! We laughed with relief. My brother remembers it differently, when I call him up, but we agree on the rattle of the door handle. Stupid Mum! I say to the dog. He chews on a dried pig’s ear – I bought him a packet of them at the supermarket. Boy loves to chew. I pull another ear from the packet and whisper into it, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but it’s heard it all before. It’s getting late. I hear the sound of hooves, and from every direction the riderless horses come.
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