Assateague Ponies

August 7, 2015

A potent sun rises over the
Atlantic horizon, casting long
Shadows over the sand dunes
Of the serene barrier islands.

Snuffled whispers and neighs
Can be heard from the harem.
Even at this distance, it is clear:
These animals know no master.

The matriarch, a tall pinto mare,
Flips her mane back and forth
In anticipation of the day’s work;
Crossing with foals is dangerous.

With sea foam spray, they cross
The wetlands to Virginia, pushed
Onward by men atop tame horses.
Alas, some will be sold by sunset.

Those that are bought will never
Know the feel of free soil again,
Their freedom caged by the steel
Shoes nailed into their hooves.

As time marches forward, their kin
Will go on living wild and free, as
They have done for generations,
The wild ponies of Chincoteague.