• Moishe's Horse

    Donald Hall

    Summer 1989

    When the ragpicker’s weary
    Arthritic carthorse Mary

    Caught a chestcold and died,
    His sons and daughters cried

    All night, at first for love,
    And later for dread of

    Their father’s tears, who wept
    And paced and never slept,

    Foreseeing their thin legs
    Bowed out for want of rags

    To trade for codliver oil
    Cabbage, flannel, and coal:

    How could a poor man salvage
    From Castle Privilege

    Orts and scraps of excess
    With a dead horse in harness?

    His strength was not as a horse’s.
    “Tsuris. Tsuris. Tsuris.”

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