An RCMP horse must be black, elegant, athletic...
You never know with humans.
I try to discern their point of view,
but itís complex. Sometimes touch,
smell, the inflection of a voice
provides the clue; often itís guesswork,
but I am a Mountie.
Itís my job to be loyal, a legacy
from my father and his. I carried Do-Right
for weeks to get here. No hoofing about,
no sweet nickers for me. Itís scenic enough,
grand vistas filled with peril and hardship,
but Dudleyís spirit is thin. Even I can see
loneliness in that sapphire gaze.
And Nell, sheís an odd one, always crying
out for attention: getting tied to the tracks,
coming within millimeters of an angry blade
before I lug Dudley to her aid. I suspect
her motives and itís tiresome, a misuse
of resources, but where would we end
if he let the bossís daughter down?
I could not abide Motherís doleful eyes
if they sent me back to Ottawa. The shame
of a white-coated sonís enough. If she lost me
to the auction block, the highest bidder
would procure more than her illicit child.
Sheíd lose her raison díÍtre, bury her nose
in a patch of crimson clover, go silent with grief.
Iíll carry on despite the adolescent antics,
whips and ropes, the histrionics. We all yearn
for mislaid dreams: that silken filly
languishing in Quebec, the sharp flash of her tail.