The Appaloosa

By Afaa Michael Weaver b. 1951 Afaa Michael Weaver
The one horse you gave me
you took back when she went insane,
when she began to chew wood
instead of the expensive grain
we bought from the feed store,
the grain that had the sweet smell
of molasses and was good for even
us to chew. She turned into
an ugly thing with her wild thoughts,
and I forgot about the beauty
expected of her when her blanket
filled out and complemented
her chestnut body and the name
the Nez Percé gave her. She rotted
and began to stink of promises
gone wrong, of gods avenging
their defilement. A man who knew
what to do with useless horses
came and took her away in
a wooden trailer she tried to chew,
and my tears welled up in huge drops
before they splattered on the ground,
as I trembled and realized I would have
to give up her own ghost for her,
ghost which she did not have, ghost
which she came here beautifully without.

Afaa Michael Weaver, “The Appaloosa” from My Father’s Geography. Copyright © 1992. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, www.pitt.edu/~press/. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: My Father’s Geography (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992)

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Poet Afaa Michael Weaver b. 1951

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, Youth, Health & Illness, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Pets, Nature, The Body, Religion, Faith & Doubt

 Afaa Michael  Weaver

Biography

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Afaa Michael Weaver was born Michael S. Weaver to working class parents in 1951. His poetry echoes the gospel and blues ethos of his mother and father, who were themselves the children of farmers in southernmost Virginia. His father grew up as a sharecropper. The eldest of five children, Weaver graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic high school and entered the University of Maryland in College Park . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Youth, Health & Illness, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Relationships, Pets, Nature, The Body, Religion, Faith & Doubt

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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