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Ann Townsend

  • Politics August 23, 2001

    Fly Mask

    I came upon her weeping,
                                  gray face gone pewter.
                She held still for me
                                            and the wet sponge

    pressed gently down,
                                  and closed her eyes.
                Beneath her skin the muscle rippled
                                            as a pond does

    under water's pressure.
                                  Rowing outward,
                past the screen that windows the view,
                                            are shadows,

    field's edge, an island of trees.
                                  I put it on, to know
                what the horse sees
                                            caged in the blue mesh,

    in a realm of monocular vision.
                                  I fasten it
                beneath the throat
                                            while she chews the grain,

    lips roving in the bucket.
                                  Winter flies
                beyond the cage. Cold's oncoming
                                            as the wind cries,

    pressing against
                                  my skin,
                whatever antennae I had
                                            lost in the generations.

    Ann Townsend