The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Lyn Lifshin

March 30, Just Past Midnight
She was warm and her
nostrils, wild.  Ready,
nearly ready. Only
the mare
s breath like
a silence you could
understand. The mare
on straw on her side
and just past midnight
the tip of one foot.
Then,  gently as some
one kissing eyes that
are crying, the foaling
man reached in to ease
a folded leg out of the
birth canal

Once the Shoulder Emerged
the men moved closer in the
long blue damp wind. Blood

on the warm straw. The mare’s

body opening. The men pull

gently. Slosh of water and

then the foal’s slippery body,

iodine and the smell of birth

in the wind the minutes

after midnight “A wooper,”

white feet, a lovely

colt," in Secretariat's record

fan book. “Lovely,” was

underlined twice.

Riveted to Secretariat
s Bursting Forth
those easing him from
s body
said he was on his feet
in twenty minutes, in
45 he was nursing.
strong, male foal with
plenty of bone.
breath of horses, Carolina
Riverwind. In her log,
Elizabeth Ham the farm
secretary wrote
made colt, good straight
hind legs, good shoulders,
good quarters: you
have to like him.

In Penny Chennery
s Notebook after the Night of Drizzle, Rain
as the river settled
and willow leaves
yellowed: one
word: Wow

On that First Day Was Somethingroyal
his mare panting?
puzzled? Those huge
shoulders. Something
she couldn't see
quivering thru her.
The mare had foaled
easily before but
this time, even with
her feet on the dirt floor,
easier footing than
cement but this time
with the foal
s fore leg
folded like a petal
before it opens,
someone following
the mare
s contractions
gently eased him out of
the birth canal. Beautiful
the vet remembered,
his legs were perfect,
he had a beautiful
head and was
red as fire

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