Horses at Midnight Without a Moon
By Jack Gilbert
Our heart wanders lost in the dark woods.
Our dream wrestles in the castle of doubt.
But there's music in us. Hope is pushed down
but the angel flies up again taking us with her.
The summer mornings begin inch by inch
while we sleep, and walk with us later
as long-legged beauty through
the dirty streets. It is no surprise
that danger and suffering surround us.
What astonishes is the singing.
We know the horses are there in the dark
meadow because we can smell them,
can hear them breathing.
Our spirit persists like a man struggling
through the frozen valley
who suddenly smells flowers
and realizes the snow is melting
out of sight on top of the mountain,
knows that spring has begun.
Gilbert, who died on Sunday at age 87, was the author of several books of poems, including Refusing Heaven.
Yet again I am rushing! That's because this evening we were out for several hours at the high school cross country team banquet -- "banquet" in this case meaning a large pot luck in the school cafeteria, followed by a couple of hours of awards and speeches. Adam received his varsity letter, which mostly go to seniors, so he was pleased -- plus he won "most attractive girl" in honor of his Halloween costume. I had a slice of pizza, some salad, four different kinds of pasta, and two different kinds of cookie -- can you tell from the carbs that most of the runners are now doing indoor track? There were some chicken dishes, but not much vegetarian protein.
The rest of my day was unenthralling and involved writing, laundry, waiting for Paul to tell me when we could go pick up the car which was in for routine servicing so I could then go to Target, learning too late that Paul had decided "we" didn't really need to go to Target on Tuesday even though I am out of something I really need -- he thought I just wanted to get the DVD of Brave, which I couldn't have watched today anyway -- picking up the aforementioned car but having to rush home to get ready for the banquet, and belatedly watching this week's Once Upon a Time when we got home!