‘Like horses’ by Jasmine Simms (Highly Commended – Poetry)

This poem was a highly commended finalist in the Poetry section of our 2014 Inaugural Writing Competition.

I too have stared, like a horse, over a fence

into the next field. I’m becoming tired of knowing

that the wind up my nostrils is a sign of things

coming and going. I have frozen from the inside,

not knowing who opens the gate, or when.


I too have spoken the language of horse,

said things with my back legs,

caused offence, spoken too quickly,

turned out my upper lip after a taste of red wine.

I’ve run my hoof across the ground

waiting for something. Now I know how to wait

like a horse does, knotting my mane in class,


looking very far into the distance, counting strides.

Sometimes I think I’ve come this far as a foal,

sleeping with my head between my knees.

The only things I know for sure are real:

the sound of galloping, never to touch you

when your ears are flat back, how to get near you,

how to dream in the back of a horsebox,

how to fall, how to sleep standing up.

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