By Robyn Braun

Horses Cannot Swim

I wander into
meadow edged by forest.
 
In the cool morning mist,
five horses graze.
 
In the river, swimmers.
I think, yes. 
 
Once in the water, I see
the swimmers are horses. 
 
My mother always 
told me horses cannot swim, 
told me their thrashing hooves 
would open their throats.
When horses swim, they bleed out. 
 
Swimming at the mare’s hind flank
The current pushes me closer.
In danger of her hooves,
I push back 
against the rush of water. 
 
I follow the horses 
onto the sand where
I find a concession. 
 
The horses pass
into the stand.
I order three
of the local delicacies. I am told,
“You’ll love what we do with them.”
 
The realization 
of what I have done 
burns my heart and my head.
But it is too late.
 
I take the Styrofoam plate 
filled with my mistake. 
Medallions swimming in oil.
 
My mother always told me
horses cannot swim. 

Tiny Footprints of Mice

Pay no heed to the twitch.
              It does not portend.
     Attach no significance to it,
            allow the twitch to pass.
      Observe your feet 
      on the earth.
Feel the grit under your soles.
Your nose may twitch; no matter.
           There is no twitch 
                       where your feet touch the ground.
                       Feel the earth support your weight
           Allow that support to spread.
Do not disparage the twitch. 
Accept, even welcome it. 
                All healthy noses twitch.
                         You need not be led by your nose.

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