James Arlington Wright (December 13, 1927 – March 25, 1980) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet.
Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
we step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
And she loved loving
So she woke and bloomed
And she rose.
And many men had been there
To drowse awake and go downstairs
Lonely for coffee and bread.
But she drowsed awake lonely
For coffee and bread.
And went upstairs
With me, and we had
Coffee and bread.
And then we were so happy to see the lovely
Mother who had been her mother a long time.
In this city broken on the wheel
We went back to the warm caterpillar of our hotel.
And the wings took.
Oh lovely place
We climbed into the branches
Of the lady’s street.
We birds sang.
And the lemon light flew out the river.
While I stood here, in the open, lost in myself,
I must have looked a long time
Down the corn rows, beyond grass,
The small house,
White walls, animals lumbering toward the barn.
I look down now. It is all changed.
Whatever it was I lost, whatever I wept for
Was a wild, gentle thing, the small dark eyes
Loving me in secret.
It is here. At a touch of my hand,
The air fills with delicate creatures
From the other world.