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a swayback mare trots along the avenue
her only complaint
with the neutral ground in bloom
is the missing, stolen patches of her hair
from where the hands
wouldn't stop grabbing at her
at the parade this afternoon
a funeral, a cracked cocoon
the plastic trash puddled below her hooves
rolls her tempered gait
a puddle an ocean a lake
makes no difference to her -
party favors or bones to break
with her chin held too high to see what
she couldn't take
she'll bow and scrape and shiver
and shake her head
and force them horse teeth into a grin
from ear to ear that splits her chin
not this time, stud



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Treadles New Orleans, Louisiana

no longer just a lump of coal

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