My Father’s First Day at Work
Half asleep in the grey smudge of September
rain a carthorse sneezes towards fleeting
dazzles of the sun.
Its hooves click on a cobbled yard, its hide
flinches from my hand and rain trails its silver
filaments from tilted hooves.
The horse dreams me from its sweat of sleep
or I dream the horse, the day itself.
that smell of soap and leather,
a fly entering its nostril, this mane tangling
my fingers, the way its neck is coarse, hot,
and kissable with rain.
If I try to look away from these lost days
a boy distracts me, enters the yard
to set down pails of milk
and smiles towards me through a looming war
and does not recognise me and hardly tastes
the bit of work between his teeth.