VETERAN by Richard Harris
I met an old horse in a field,
waiting, with one hoof cocked, as if
always ready for flight or fight.
And as I came forward with a handful of grass,
his ears did not flatten,
nor did his nostrils flare.
But the eyes! I saw his eyes.
Eyes that had seen more than any man.
Eyes that chose paths through mud and fallen men
pulling the guns at Passchendaele.
Eyes wide with the mad charge they made,
the Light Brigade.
Eyes that watched with the Corsican as
he lost his final Waterloo,
that glinted in the rising sun with
Chinggis and his terror-horde,
stared dumb with Cortez at
the great Pacific,
looked blankly on while Alexander wept
at burning Persepolis.
He took the grass, obediently, gracefully; no –
magisterially, in his acceptance of
a field, a bite to eat; of a stall, a coat in winter;
and, as he looked beyond me.
Of all that he had ever seen and been before.
Another fine poem of Richard’s. You may find more of his work here.