Let the Ponies Out

oh papa, to have you drift up, some part of you drift up through

water through

fresh water into the teal plate of sky soaking foothills, papa,

to have your breath leave, escape you, escape the

weight of bone, muscle and organ, escape you, to rise up, to loft,

till you are all breath filling the room, rising, escaping the white,

the white

sheets, airborne, taken in a gust of wind and unbridled ponies,

let the ponies

out, I would open that gate if I could find it, if there was one

to let you go, to drift up into, out, out

of this experiment into the dome of all breath and wind and

reappear in the sound of the first year’s thunder with

Chigayow cutting the clouds over your eyes expanding, wafting,

wings

of a bird over fields, fat ponies, spruce, birch and poplar, circling

wider than that tight square sanitized whiteness

you breathe in, if you could just stop breathing you could

escape, go anywhere, blow, tumble in the prairie grass,

bloom in the face of crocuses

appear in the smell of cedar dust off a saw

in the smell of thick leather

in the whistlng sounds of the trees

in the far off sound of a chainsaw or someone chopping wood

in the smooth curve of a felt hat, in unbridled ponies

Marilyn Dumont, “Let the Ponies Out” from A Really Good Brown Girl. Copyright © 1996 by Brick Books. Reprinted by permission of the publisher and author.

Source: An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English, 4th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2013)