Leap Away

By on Nov 5, 2012 in Poetry

Barbaro running a race

I have given away a herd.
Come to this late, I long for lift
and flight and the hard touching down.

Barbaro snaps his leg at the gate.
What rivets and burns in memory is
the image of running on. Yes, he runs

on three legs and a heart. Life changes.
That fast and gasped, all bets are off, put down.
A small death here. A big death there.

And there. And there. I have stepped out
onto a remote island the sea is reclaiming,
bringing the grass to sodden weeds. These horses

will all drown if they do not bend and
grow armor, hide among the eels. The aging
actress cannot play the ingenue. No rescue here.

The long face of an old whore, unembraceable.
But like the pillowy ladies Rembrandt painted,
a horse is a beautiful thing. 


Vicki Mandell-King has been writing poetry for what seems most of her life and, until a few years ago, practiced criminal law as a federal public defender for thirty years. Her poetry has been published in such literary journals as Ares, Calyx, Illya’s Honey, Main Street Rag, Pearl, Plainsongs, Slant, Sow's Ear and Zillah. She is currently working on a chapbook and a full-length book of poetry. She and her husband live in an old remodeled Victorian in the Rockies foothills, and have a wonderful grown son.