Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Doug Anderson: Live Myth

I would believe in the unicorn if it stood heaving and slathered,

snapping flies off its flank with its tail. It does not smell

of sweat and stable, does not snort at the wolf in the brush

and twitch its ears. A unicorn does not get dirty,

kick up mud when it runs. I know that I would throw

my leg over a bareback horse sooner than I’d step

into the stirrup of a saddled unicorn. For spite, I’d shoot

and slaughter one, roast choice bits over a fire, and hang

its horn from my belt, just to outrage the legions

of tourists of the imagination, the kind who flock

to séances, or invite Rasputin to tea. A unicorn

is impossibly cute, it doesn’t shit or rub its rump against a tree.

But a horse, my god, can swing its neck around at a dog’s yip

and break your jaw, can brain you with a hoof.

It makes the ground shake. Look at him, the black pool

of his eye, muscle rippling along the flanks, and how

he stands, placid, chewing, as the little girl lies on top of him

braiding his mane, whispering, my magic, my magic, my boy.


From Horse Medicine, copyright 2015 Doug Anderson. Published by Barrow Street.

2 comments on “Doug Anderson: Live Myth

  1. Rich Clay
    January 7, 2019

    Damn, that’s impactful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Greg Thielen
    January 14, 2017

    Wonderful poem

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2017 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , , .

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