It began with the deer, dead in the water 
Just off my parents’ dock, 
And then there was a procession of horses,
The water churning around their necks
As they struck out for the island, 
Circled it, headed back, 
And I was in the wares with them.

I thought, how clumsy dreams are:
I was taking my kids to a show the next day, 
I knew that cabin on the lake 
Was the last dear place 
My parents would manage to make for themselves,
And who needs to explain
The beauty and power of horses 
Out of their element, 
Or in it —that “realm of the mothers,” 
The lacustrine trope
Of return.