“Before the Elegy” Lisa Zimmerman

"Before the Elegy"
                          “Love tries to speak but sounds
                            So close in its own ear.”	
						          Laura Riding Jackson

Lips of my horse spider soft on my palm,
electric silk bridge from her big heart to mine 
breaking as hers begins to slow.

Too tight my hold on the lead rope
my trembling mouth against the fur
of her ear—mumble of love and grief—

The vets ease her body down
to dry ground behind the clinic—

breath leaves her large lungs 
like the last train at midnight,
all the cars empty but for the one

passenger asleep, head against the window,
night pressing its dark hand to the glass.

Lisa Zimmerman’s poems have appeared in Florida Review, Poet Lore, Chiron Review, Trampset, Book of Matches, Amethyst Review, SWWIM Every Day and other journals. Her books include How the Garden Looks From Here (Violet Reed Haas Poetry Award) The Light at the Edge of Everything (Anhinga Press) and in 2021, Sainted (Main Street Rag). She’s a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Northern Colorado. https://www.lisazimmermanpoet.com/