I will never be put out to pasture.My old horses are put out to pasture,some old horses are sold for dog food,I feed dogs, share my food with them.I might be meat for grizzlies if I stumbleinto a nest of cubs. I have some memoryof seamen starving in a dory, drawing lots,the loser: human steaks.I will never be put out to pasturelong as I have something to say about it.When I feed my opera-loving donkeys,they bray: We prefer you stay inside our fence.I live in the country, that comparedto the city, where I lived as a child,is "out to pasture." Some have drunkto others only with their eyes.I drink and graze on Irish daisies that growin the countryside, and steel-girdledcemented cities with my eyes. I wantall things in nature to ride my back.The oceans are lighter than mountains,I don't rear up, buck them off,I am happy with my burden. Old horse,I do not want to die fallen in a stall,it's better outside, unhitched, reins dangling,trying to get up on my own four legs. [End Page 80] Now I am just a man, not a metaphor.I say to myself: Here I am.I see a ram, horns caught in a thicket—I free the ram, my hands bleed from thorns.I do not believe sacrifice is a good cause.I make a fire that warms me, it's not a burnt offering,I have no favorite son.I will not lay a hand on anyone,except to comfort her or him.I am grateful I can rest a whilein the kindness of green and rocky pastures. [End Page 81]
Stanley Moss was born in New York State in 1925. His books of poetry include It's About Time (2015), God Breaketh Not All Men's Hearts Alike: New & Later Collected Poems (2011), Rejoicing: New and Collected Poems (2009), New & Selected Poems: 2006 (2006), and Songs of Imperfection (2005).