Dana Sonnenschein

Edgerton Park


The woman washing the dapple gray

in front of the New Haven police stable

moves from withers to flanks, soaping its back. 


It’s a heavy horse, bred for the plow,

with shod hooves wider than an outspread hand,

haunches and head massive as cast metal.


From off among the trees, a boy and I watch

as she turns on the hose and the horse steps

forward and slips its head inside a stall’s half-door


to avoid splash and dazzle.  Calmly,

as if the world were not now in its blind spot—

Black men bleeding, dogs romping in the fountain.


It lifts a rear hoof and flexes slowly,

showing every muscle and tendon connecting

thigh to cannon bone, then sets it down. 


And when that horse’s shoe hits the ground,

we hear a sound nothing like a sudden shot  

but deliberate, the gesture of an animal


trained not to startle at traffic, not to kick,

and never to nuzzle the awed citizens

who stare when it steps out of the past.


Then the horse turns toward the sun, gleaming

for a moment, fair and dark, a vision of justice

as something gentle, calm, bigger than us.

Dana Sonnenschein’s most recent books are Natural Forms, and Bear Country.  Find her at https://www.facebook.com/Dana-Sonnenschein-104761453404/ and on Instagram, where she’s documenting the wildflower season as she wanders the local woods.


The views and opinions expressed throughout belong to the individual artists and may or may not coincide with those of the other artists (or editors) represented within the magazine. Hobo Camp Review supports a free-for-all atmosphere of artistic expression, so enjoy the poetry, fiction, opinions, and artwork within, read with an open mind, and comment wisely. Thanks for stopping by the Camp!