Poetry: Leslie Norris
The Pit Ponies
The come like the ghosts of horses, shyly,
To this summer field, this fresh green,
Which scares them.
They have been too long in the blind mine,
Their hooves have trodden only stones
And the soft, thick dust of fine coal,
And they do not understand the grass.
For over two years their sun
Has shone from an electric bulb
That has never set, and their walking
Has been along the one, monotonous
Track of pulled coal-trucks.
They have bunched their muscles against
The harnass and pulled, and hauled.
But now they have come out of the underworld
And are set down in the sun and real air,
Which are strange to them. They are humble
And modest, their heads are downcast, they
Do not expect to see very far. But one
Is attempting a clumsy gallop. It is
Something he could do when he was very young,
When he was a little foal a long time ago
And he could run fleetly on his long foal's legs,
And almost he can remember this. And look,
One rolls on her back with joy in the clean grass!
And they all, awkwardly and hesitantly, like
Clumsy old men, begin to run, and the field
Is full of happy thunder. They toss their heads,
Their manes fly, they are galloping in freedom.
The ponies have come above ground, they are galloping!
Just a note from me:
This is not a post about the end of the semester! I do not feel burdened at all by my work (see below). I simply love this poem. I think I identify with it mostly because I have a history of depression, and that awkward galloping?--that's me experiencing joy.