Autobiography a poem by Michael Earl Craig


One of my favorite poems. Enjoy!

AUTOBIOGRAPHY You could say I rode a tall horse. You could say I rode a long black horse. In reality I'd never even touched a horse. I drove by them all the time. Horses loose in pastures; horses tied to fences, to trees; horses hobbled; horses running wild along the ditches; and then the ones that simply stood in the rain, that baked in the sun, that dreamt with their heads down. As I shot past in my car it was all I could manage to even glance at a horse. However, I do remember noticing this one horse, a grey horse; he was young and was kept apart from other horses. He was always pacing and stomping and throwing his head and whinnying, and basically always on the brink of exploding chest-first through the fence to get over to the other horses. For horses are herd animals. Horses need other horses. Horses easily die of loneliness. This young grey horse seemed to be doing this. He was a colt when I first saw him, and about thirty-two when I finally pulled over and parked my car. I left the engine running and got out and strode through the tall grass to get to the barbed-wire fence where he stood. He was quite old, sway-backed, bad teeth. His eyes were sunk in his head. He no longer moved about, but just stood there in place and sort of bobbed his head in a kind of left-to-right figure eight. It was all he was capable of--I could see this as I approached him in his pasture. All the other horses were in a distant pasture. They looked like specks of black rice on the yellow hillside. I reached the fence. I was finally standing not three feet from this horse. I reached over the top strand of wire. As I lowered my hand the horse looked at me serenely as if he'd known me all his life. I patted his head. I am one of the world's largest assholes.

—Michael Earl Craig

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