The holder of the horse

Washington Gas Light Company lights the night, but not your course,

Behind the verandas and the board-walks where you stand and hold the horse.

Your night sits in the after-glow, a half-light of the night and 511 10th Street,

The tail shakes, the ears twitch and she shifts in her weight on her feet.

You hear the people hum as one, the buzzing and crackle of their chatter,

You hear the roars and applause and the furious sounding clatter,

You hear the reign of sound, like hail on the ground and the rain of talking,

The sound escapes the doors and the windows and all of Ford’s best caulking.

You rub two coins in your pocket together, counting them for your time,

And all you have to do is stand and wait. There is no clock, there’ll be no chime.

Then a sound. A chair falls? A door slams? A woman screams and men yell.

And for time ever more, all who where there will remember as they tell.

“Sic semper tyrannis!” and all around in stunned uncertain fears

Then screams and yells and cries and moans and blood drenched tears.

More screams. More screams. More noise and greater and louder too.

Shouts and screams push forth the door, escape the scoundrel through.

The startled mare rears, turns her head and dust kicks up in teams

And the mayhem, throng of noise and dust and shouts and screams.

Then they carry Him through the street to die upon an all too small bed

Where the flow of life and right and hope lay in a stain of red.

You hear tell that the ancient face, all drawn and life gone and bled

The poor son weeps and the mad wife wails,  He is dead.

At what cost victory; their miserable and empty valedictory

In the Peterson house, lies there the spoils of ‘death’s dishonourable victory’.








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