She sees them yet resplendent in her glass:
Wild and noble procession of horses
on the plain. How will she regard them
from the vantage of the grave?
In the dark days after translation
She will sing to them of wind and storms
Then running as shadows about the hills
the ghosts of horses throw their heads
bereft of all constraint. Reflections
of her tempest-song, they stamp
in the earth with thunder hooves. Later,
in her sinking mind, the storm begins
to quell and her steeds assume repose
as clouds disperse upon the secret
silvered face of glass. Now all is still
within the covered grave where
remains of Queen and beast are held
in ice below the ground, apart from time.
And a cape of marmot fur folds, then
freezes to her rotting frame.
Now six horses come to know their bones
though the mirror is unchanged.
About the Author: Dr. Ari Berk is a writer, visual artist, folklorist/mythologist, screenwriter, and film consultant. His publications have included works on myth and ancient cultures, as well as popular books for both children and adults. Ari’s most recent titles are Death Watch, Mistle Child and Lych Way (The Undertaken Trilogy) which the School Library Journal called "reminiscent of the classic gothic works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Shirley Jackson"; Nightsong (illustrated by Loren Long); The Secret History of Giants (winner of a NCTE Notable Award), The Secret History of Mermaids, and The Secret History of Hobgoblins. Ari holds degrees in Ancient History and American Indian Studies, as well as a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Culture. He has studied at Oxford University in England and, at the University of Arizona, was mentored by Pulitzer Prize-winning Kiowa author N. Scott Momaday. He currently sits on the advisory board of the Mythic Imagination Institute (Atlanta, Georgia). Ari and his wife, Renaissance scholar Dr. Kristen McDermott, currently live at the edge of a wood in the heart of Michigan. They are both professors in the English department at Central Michigan University. Visit him on the web at: www.AriBerk.com.
Copyright © 1997 by Ari Berk. The poem not be reproduced in any form without the author’s express written permission.