by David Ferry
It is true that, as he said, the horses,
When the lightning signaled something
Along the horizon, acknowledged the signaling,
Moving about in extraordinary beauty
Of shifting and neighing, flicker of ear,
Changings of pace, slidings, turnings,
The delicate legs finding out something
The ground could tell them, interpreting
The sky’s statement of oncoming darkness.
The storm was doing whatever it does,
Matrix of signaling, along the horizon.
In the valley the houses were brilliantly
Clear, the storm’s darkness was making
Possible a perfect delineation,
The houses’ edges brimming with light.
David Ferry is the author of two books of poetry, On the Way to the Island (Wesleyan) and Strangers (U. of Chicago), as well as The Limits of Mortality: An Essay on Wordsworth’s Major Poems. He teaches at Wellesley College. (1990)