Thaw

by Sally Goldsmith

A field snapped with frost and stitched with brittle docks,
a metal gate where I hung, still, like the horses there –

the grey standing gentle over the bay mare, held
inside their listening; wick-wick of a pigeon,

the chat of a jackdaw flock. Each second was a frozen bead,
but lovely to the touch. Once, he barely whisked his tail,

I watched. Then shifting my weight against the gate,
both turned and the mare lifted, nut-bright, out of her dream

then came slowly, and again on, slowly; the sky stretched
drum-skin, the sun low and sucked to a thin sweet.

She looked to the grey as if to say, should I? and a man
came, walking his dog. The mare whickered. Grand!

said the man. It is, I said, some strange thing thawing,
and she brought me her breath, timid to my hand.