Rick Lott

The Patience of Horses  
The horses steam in the slow rain.
All day they have stood
like great boulders in wet-light,
rubbery lips nibbling
for brown wisps among the stones.
Sometimes one raises his head
as if to contemplate the weather.

Nostrils fluming vapor,
the horses back into the wind
that ruffles coarse coats across
ribs, and shudders the yellowing
leaves of persimmons along the fence,
some with barbed wire sunk in bark.
The bronze fruit is bitter till first frost.

Only a random snort
disturbs the horses’ quiet.
Their eyes bulge like ripe fruit
sheened with the muted light.
At dusk, the horses will amble
through slackening rain to the barn,
and yellow light will fill the windows
of the white farmhouse on the hill.

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(Caleb Everly)