The mountains east of my dad’s hometown
used to feel pretty remote.
We never followed any trails
back then, just rode down
into one alpine bowl and back out again,
along narrow ridges
and across windswept flats,
through thick groves of whispering aspen.
My dad used to say that if we ever got lost
all we had to do
was give the horse some rein
and she’d know the way.
Once a week or so I talk to my dad on the phone.
We’ve come a great distance
since those rides.
I guess I want to say something
dramatic—about the horse inside me
or maybe the horse inside you.
What I want to say is maybe it’s time
to test this theory.
Dave Nielsen‘s poems have recently appeared in Havik, The Adelaide Literary Review, Folio, and other magazines. He is the author of Unfinished Figures, winner of the 2015 Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry.