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These are practical people preparing
a patient solid horse, but behind them
the woods flicker with magic, hiding,
perhaps, a witch's house confected of
rich cake and bright crystalline candies.
Pink-gold highlights on the horse's mane
and belly, luminous green blobs on the man's
sleeve--can it be they, too, are touched
If so, they don't know it. Man and girl
are dedicated to perpetrating solidity:
A magic horse might dissolve, vanish
from beneath the saddle, become a blaze
of white and gold beneath the pale moon.
The man with his intentness, the girl
with her gentle fingertip soothing,
locate the horse where he is.
The horse co-operates, stolidly
fills the painting with his imperviousness
to light, his willingness to be sat upon,
the certainty that we could push against
his haunch with both hands
and not budge this painted horse:
that is solidity--
and magic, too.
October 6, 2002