December 22, 2010

Mercy

This powerful little prose poem would have been a good example to include in our post for the prompt from November...


Shooting the Horse

I unlatch the stall door, step inside, and stroke the silky neck
of the old mare like a lover about to leave. I take an ear in
hand, fold it over, and run my fingers across her muzzle. I
coax her head up so I can blow into those nostrils. All part of
the routine we taught each other long ago. I turn a half turn,
pull a pistol from my coat, raise it to that long brow with the
white blaze and place it between her sleepy eyes. I clear my
throat. A sound much louder than it should be. I squeeze the
trigger and the horse's feet fly out from under her as gravity
gives way to a force even more austere, which we have named
mercy.


by David Shumate,

from High Water Mark
High Water Mark: Prose Poems (Pitt Poetry Series)


Also:
The Floating Bridge: Prose Poems (Pitt Poetry Series)
The Floating Bridge: Prose Poems

2 comments:

  1. Why do you feel this would have been a good poem for the November prompt? The outcome of this poem is so contrary to the lead poem for the prompt that I fail to miss the connection. Please explain your thinking on this, so I can understand what you mean.

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  2. Well, it is very different in subject and tone, but it's another way of examining the larger issue. Is euthanasia a valid way of ending a life in a manner which relieves pain and suffering?

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