Landscape with Horse Named Popcorn

By Mark Irwin Mark Irwin
The hummingbird hovers over bougainvillea, darting in and out   
of blossoms as the bride throws   

her corset among laughter and waving hands. Seeing you, glass in hand, sunlight   
piercing the punch bowl’s crystal, I remember   

the horse, an Appaloosa, the white and gray markings   
like clouds, cumulus, one   

later on his grave, the 2X4 cross with name   
above a swell of land that could bring   
a man to his knees,   

or make him look up at fumbling shapes, cotton-fumed   
and slow. I can hear the screeching   

still. The colt had grabbed a turkey nesting in scrub oak, and prancing,   
shook it in his mouth as we ran   

reaching toward black feathers—then the fine   
spray of blood—until beyond adrenaline we began laughing,

as laughing now, brushing confetti away, you hand   
the bride flowers, narcissi, their green throats pushing up   
from wet stones in a jar.

Source: Poetry (March 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the March 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2009
 Mark  Irwin


Mark Irwin is the author of six collections of poetry, two volumes of translation, and a recently completed book of essays on contemporary American poetry entitled “Monster.” His most recent book is American Urn: New & Selected Poems (1987–2011). He lives in Colorado.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Men & Women, Nature, Animals

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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