On the Semi-Frozen Sanabria

“Wild Horse,” by Eugène Delacroix,1828; lithograph. Art c ourtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

My brother laughs, bets he can cross
Without falling through.

We know he can’t—
The ice is too thin.

I dare him anyway.
Dad’s head shakes no.

My brother, half on land, half on ice,
Forces his weight. Eyes go wide.

The shift in ice is audible
As it gives way, swallows his leg whole.

We move to help, but our laughter
Holds us, drowns his cries.

The only danger here is in missing
A rag of wild horses passing in the distance.

Ernesto L. Abeytia is a Spanish-American poet and teacher. He holds an MFA from Arizona State University and MAs from Saint Louis University and the Autonomous University of Madrid. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, PBS NewsHour, The Shallow Ends, and elsewhere.
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