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Fall ride on the chestnut

A river runs beneath his copper hide, shoulders
of tight-bounded fibers bearing us forward,
his chest reddening with eagerness
under my own aching thighs, as the sun hangs still
in a September-blue sky, browned grass
crunching under us. This was his one prayer for his life,
always bigheaded, blonding eyelashes,
long nose pushing towards the wind. He forgets
the rough ditches when we turn back,
all hips driving us home.

How the ride was an act of my own forgetting;

how back home, your hand, soft against my cheek,
is a comfort I almost cannot bear;

how it is all the times I’ve been wrong
and all the times you’ve been wrong
that make this so.


Emily Marie Buehler is an educator and emerging poet. Her poetry often examines our complicated relationships with injustice and responsibility, resistance and courage. She has a masters in international conflict resolution, lives with her husband and son on her family farm in southeastern Minnesota, and teaches at Minnesota State University Mankato where she is also completing her MFA in poetry.

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