I heard Joy Harjo for the first time on NPR Wednesday night, reciting her poem, ‘She Had Some Horses.’ While listening I did not know she was of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation. And that she is the new poet laureate of our nation.
She had me heart with her opening stanza.
When I was a child, my heart lived in horses. (Figuratively – that is. In actuality, I felt intimidated by them – unlike my daughter who was boss, no matter their size or temperament.) I was more intrigued, and in love with, the idea of horses than horses themselves. That heart connection lasted well into college – recalling my obsession with the theater piece, ‘Equus’ – though that could also have been due to the naked male actor.
Hearing Harjo read her poem brought my childhood horse sense back – sent me on an amorphous journey, with horses weaving through my life’s story.
She had some horses – figuratively.