I work my way along the fence
on the east side of the pasture
where mulberry and pigweeds
keep pressing their needs
against the line of the wires
that set the boundary of grass and grazing.
Unclipped, their green stalks
would short the circuit that is meant
to keep the horse from pressing his way
through the course of wires into the longer grass
that is just past the reach
of twisted neck, extended head.
He could easily run right through
the weave of thin strands of extruded plastic
and micro-thin strands of conductor
that carry the current from solar charger
to the circuit of the field.
But the gelding has generally agreed
to forego free will
and spare himself that momentary pain
that would gain him greater range,
which would also include the highway
only a few seconds away
where pickup trucks with flatbed trailers
and semi’s fully loaded
run by at seventy-miles-an-hour.
He stands near the short silhouette of a scrub oak tree,
sleek hide burnished by evening sun,
tail and mane training toward the north,
soft blades of bluegrass and brome
hanging out both sides of his mouth.
~ Doc Arnett
Doc Arnett teaches Creative Writing and directs Institutional Research at the oldest college in Kansas, Highland Community College. He and his wife of twenty-five years, Randa, live in Doniphan, Kansas. A Kentucky native, Doc enjoys writing, singing, remodeling and watching Randa enjoy her Rocky Mountain Horse, Gospel Ryder’s Lil Journey.
Kelly W. Johnston, guest editor, is a life-long Kansan, who was born in Lawrence in 1955, and graduated from Wichita State in 1977 with a major in creative writing. He has published poems in Mikrokosmos, The Cottonwood Review, and The Ark River Review. He will publish two poems in the up-coming 2016 issue of The I-70 Review. Kelly loves to spend time on his land in the Chautauqua Hills near Cross Timbers State Park, where many of his poems are inspired.