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bridled skeletons of horses are piled
pointing away from the volcano

heads reared broke-neck backward
bucking in panic against their tethers

animals are said to feel more
seismic preludes to disaster

maybe they felt helpless knowing
their masters had already taken too long

or maybe anthropomorphism diminishes
a horse’s capacity for simple pain

maybe unlike humans
they understood nothing

could out-gallop
death already approaching


Edie Meade is a writer, artist, and mother of four in Huntington, West Virginia. She is passionate about literacy and collects books like they’re going out of style. Say hi on Twitter @ediemeade or https://ediemeade.com/.

© 2021, Edie Meade

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