My thoughts are a wild pony, tethered
with ropes looped around its neck, tied
at all angles to the encircling fence line,
muscles flexing and nostrils snorting. Attempts
to calm incite, to woo infuriate. The pony
wants to run wild, to rut. The pony
wants to beat its hooves on the expanse
of green that is the mountainside.

The pony does not know the hunger, the dirth
of food and water that would seduce
it into acquiescence, but fear thrums
in its already-tough heart. Fear of losing
the undomesticated thrill of prancing
about a surprising tuft of sweet grass,
of chasing the wind as it crests the hill,
carrying with it a scent of rain.

Within its roiling gut the pony senses it
must not wander the world at its own whims,
but let the ropes slack, hide its bloom, fold
itself tidily within the horizon, accept
the trough of water, a bucket of feed.
My thoughts bow too, an eye on the limits
of love, like the pony bows its thick neck
under the hesitant stroke of kindness.

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