Caressing mare’s ribs, the master
coaxes the foal into odd environs
as sibling colts munch fresh hay,
sifting after redolent straw,
and fillies preen before
copper pails expertly hammered.

Overfond children elbow beyond
barred stalls and whirring hornets
to glimpse new-fangled life,
the regal brood’s latest addition
poised for elegant breeding
and quartered in the Temple’s shade.

Attendants tweak readied stallions
by saddle cantles, tautening
or slackening, while the king’s
freckled studhorse guzzles swill
to fuel the morn’s routine tantivy
along Judah’s wooded heights.

Cresting eastern hills, patient
shepherds flocked by wethers and tegs
wonder at the skittish fervor
rousing the mild-mannered
customarily averse to unseemly
public displays of exhilaration.

By Brandon Marlon

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