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Jane Downs


Swift fields wild with mustard, sunflowers

knotted along disturbed roadways.

I ran up the hill. I ran down the hill.

I rode the chestnut horse.

I could smell manure & summer heat,

sweat beading along his neck. I rode bareback,

leaning forward hanging onto

his mane, cantering, then galloping, crashing

through the thin woodland.

I slept near the river on the ground,

the horse standing beside me made low

slow sounds as stars slipped

through the dark. The moon rose as I fell

into the dream of the other world.

That urgent flesh beneath me. To reel

at the edge, dizzy, when he snapped

his head from side to side & veered

too close to a tree. How I feared & loved him.

Bay Area poet Jane Downs is a partner in Red Berry Editions. Her work has won prizes and appeared in numerous journals. Her novel, The Sleeping Wall, was a finalist in the Chiasmus Press book contest. She recently published a handmade chapbook, The Weight of Pink Peonies.

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