Wild Horses of Currituck

[This poem was written a number of years ago based on a close encounter I had with the wild horses on the upper Outerbanks in the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge while visiting there with my family. I submitted the poem to unpsychology magazine, an ecopsychology journal based in the U.K, in the winter of 2019-2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was recently published in their issue 6 with the theme of connecting with the other-than-human world. The journal issue is currently available here online. I’m sharing the poem below for easy access.]

Early morning cries

from floating gulls

a distant rumble

faint yet growing

Moving from brackish marsh and dune

over spit of Currituck sand

bridging bay to ocean

Are these the true nomads approaching?

Mares with their stallion,

                                 newborn colt,

                    and fillies glistening in the sun

Manes and tails held high

hooves thundering

untouchable near salty sea

One morning I find them

a family in the garage (I left the door open)

hiding from biting black flies

Reaching toward them respectfully

     I touch soft hide

Stomping concrete they turn

                                                               see me

                                                                       and nod

Our agreement is this:

Mustangs rest and roam where they please

I may watch and smile

knowing this is a place among people

where wild horses reign

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