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Ann Townsend | The Nation

Ann Townsend

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Ann Townsend

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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.