I Could See Horses

I Could See Horses | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Drawing of a horse and rider by Edgar Degas, circa 1887. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

My father’s voice
was Utah copper, honeysuckle gold.
Fine-tuned. Viola, not violin.

A radio voice. First pilot calm
air traffic controller
confident. Cargo in the hold.

His local intonations laced with faraway
translated dance steps
into river melt.

That brash, unabashed
Western swing –
flash, like floods.

When he spoke I could see horses
Tennessee walkers.

More often a quiver of arrows
quarrels invariably
hitting the mark.

Kathleen McCracken is a Canadian poet and lecturer in creative writing at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. She is the author of eight collections of poetry, among them Blue Light, Bay and College and Double Self Portrait with Mirror.
Explore Related Content