I’ve forgotten some prizefights,
the names of men I beat more
than they beat me, but how can
I forget Divine Intervention
with a scar dividing my thigh
like Wabash splits Chicago?
That horse back-kicked so hard
my leg bone broke, split skin
like a lazy plum. I layed back
in that stall bleeding & hollering
in the dirty hay, that horse looking
over his shoulder at me like
it was my fault & the flies
& the flies’ humming stuttering
like telegraph type until Jim
found me. I couldn’t tend horses
after that. The scar is purple now.
Jagged as a pant’s hem.
Even though the bone healed
all right, I rub the scar for luck.
Most times, I forget I’m rubbing
until Etta reminds me.
—Originally appeared in Crab Orchard Review