Please note I daily post new work in draft at La Parola Vivace, and that I’ve posted my memoir Nightfall in Verona on its own blog for all to read.

I’m reposting my poem Amphibian here in honor of the beautiful foals now appearing at the rate of one a day in the field on the road between my country and town homes.

These mares are managed as a classic Western broodmare band, meaning that they freely range and roam over hundreds of acres in all weathers, taking shelter in the trees when necessary.  Every year the owner turns a gorgeous paint stallion I have nicknamed “Dazzle” in with them who breeds them on the post-foaling heat.  I pull over and watch the interplay of the herd, as do other locals.  Enjoy.


The last time I walked

I took a grey mare out to grass too green to bear

I played in the twilight with a Golden dog,

on my strong, Western woman’s legs,

sure of foot and carefully inching sideways

down to the slope to the creek, unrolling the training lead

while she plunged in, overjoyed,

her tail a semaphore in the rain of light


The last time I took action on a dream

was to buy a grey mare huge with foal

lugging redolent mash– flaked corn, grain, molasses

down to the corral where she stood in dangerous beauty,

waiting for me, eyes round and dark

with gratitude.


The last time I loved was in the stillness of candlelight

and breathlessness

fingers brushing my nipples

unfastening silk strings

hands running down my thighs

I was strong and flexible in my joy

the taking into my body of an errant golden boy

lost in the same ways

in the aftermath holding his head against me.


And the last time I yearned as deeply

as one may yearn

there was a seahorse floating in the watery night

of my womb

whose name I dared not speak,

a becoming of someone else high up in my belly,

belly I rubbed with strawberry-scented oil

at daybreak,


A tiny and uncommon thing

that slipped from me in a small knot of blood

a dream gone back to grass

a personhood absorbed by night

known so briefly,

like the kiss of a far existence

a fluttering away into thin air.


The last time I made a record

of an uncommon life

is this time, of an index of illuminations

before daybreak, in late July

in a house gone to ruin

moths in the window sills, in the cool

silences of morning


Brought awake by the imperatives

of language, mind burning in

the crumbling house of a body,

launching myself in my walker

out through the bedroom door

turning down the sibilance of the radio


To hear the swell within

of, you could say

the lyrical nature of living on

in spite of a surgical failure

to weld my bones together:


In making myself try

to walk again however I could

the weight of daily life curved my leg like a scythe,

until like anything going from water to land

I became other than I had been, a tilted person

one leg shorter than the other, a rudder

attached to a once lovely woman.


I go out for a drive, throwing my walker

into the back of my car

to see the mare down the way that has come to her feet

newborn paint filly sitting up in amazed languor

emerald field populated

with similitude and otherness,

Each mare now with an undaunted foal,

dancing into life.

Jenne’ Andrews

Summer 2009