Sylvia Plath

Whiteness I Remember

Whiteness being what I remember About Sam: whiteness and the great run He gave me. I've gone nowhere since but Going's been tame deviation. White, Not of heraldic stallions: off-white Of the stable horse whose history's Humdrum, unexceptionable, his Tried sobriety hiring him out To novices and to the timid. Yet the dapple toning his white down To safe gray never grayed his temper. I see him one-tracked, stubborn, white horse, First horse under me, high as the roofs, His near trot pitching my tense poise up, Unsteadying the steady-rooted green Of country hedgerows and cow pastures To a giddy jog. Then for ill will Or to try me he suddenly set Green grass streaming, houses a river Of pale fronts, straw thatchings, the hard road An anvil, hooves four hammers to jolt Me off into their space of beating, Stirrups undone, and decorum. And Wouldn't slow for the hauled reins, his name, Or shouts of walkers: crossed traffic Stalling curbside at his oncoming, The world subdued to his run of it. I hung on his neck. Resoluteness Simplified me: a rider, riding Hung out over the hazard, over hooves Loud on earth's bedrock. Almost thrown, not Thrown: fear, wisdom, at one: all colors Spinning to still in his one whiteness.

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