The following won first place in the Poetry division of the Walter Spara Writing Contest sponsored by the Department of English and Communications in the spring semester, 2012.
by Lauren Massey
Regarding Last Sunday
When we watched that horse die,
I had a better view than you did.
I could see him kick back, stumble, and collapse
into the redness of the stable floor.
I could see him struggle back onto his feet,
only to meet the dirt harder the second time.
I could see him writhing, choking
on the air he polluted with rising dust.
I could see his rider– the girl who’d lost
another horse earlier in the year,
the girl who’d ridden this one intensely
and masterfully and left the arena
smiling on his back only minutes before–
fall like a sinner beside him and cradle his head and sob.
I could see him sprawl out and finally lie still.
You could see only glimpses of this
behind the weather-beaten cement column in front of the stable
that obstructed your view,
and when all the men took off their hats you turned
and asked me what happened.