No longer do I rise first
to help push the sun over the mountain,
and see the steam lifting
off the backs of the horses. Instead
I am mending the pasture fence,
which is somewhat
since tomorrow my gelding will break it again.
But I value the ritual of it, the repetition,
the angry horse galloping back and forth
across my neighbor’s land,
then heading toward me at full speed,
and stopping just inches away.
It’s a game he appears to take pleasure in,
I don’t begrudge him this daily display of obstinance.
I’m having to earn the respect of all the animals
magic. Feeding, watering
carrying, mending. Who would have thought
I’d be enjoying this,
the scent of mud and animals on me.
This must be why the angel chose to come back as human—
smell of coffee, the dirt, the wet dogs
jumping on our earthly coats, the incredible difficulty
of love, the audible click
when we choose it, set our jaw firmly,
and move on to do the work.
from Connecticut Review