The horse’s head looks more like the butt end

of an oar, squared off and wooden the way an animal’s is not.

Its mane is mangy; the mouth toothy; one white eye is wild.

The legs tangle at wrong angles and the body seems short.

This was a horse to shoot, but I sharpened my pencil instead,

and returned to my seat. Astride the beast, with hands like clouds

and checkered shirt, is a boy—not whipping his horse,

battering its belly with shiny spurs, or scouting the dusty plains

and bluffs for a good leap-off place. He’s smiling terribly.