Steady Girl

They say the best ones stay forever,
no matter how skittish, how wild-eyed
and restless their stall mates, the horses
they’re meant to calm. Entering
the pen, the goats draw out
the twitching dark poison, work
quietly to free mile after mile
of glistening horsehide
from the hard tug of fear and longing,
the animal need to run in all directions
at once, to be nowhere and to be
everywhere in the world. See
the short gait that never matches
long strides, the strange rectangular
pupils, bright sideways slits
soothing these hot beasts
quivering with singular talents.
When she leaves you, remember
it’s no one’s fault. No love will
ever hold her, no devotion
will be nearly enough.