As the brightness fades from afternoon to evening
At the first shade of twilight, they appear
Silent as ghosts and
Their dun coats blending against the now dulled colors of the land
Frozen at the junction of forest and meadow
They are indistinct from the grey stone outcropping
That mottles the hillside
They stand and wait, erect, in dignified bearing
As if for some signal or sign
And then, dropping heads, move from the forest’s edge into the broad meadow
As if onto a dance floor
As if the song they had been waiting for was now playing.
And now they run, faster than horses
Silent as soaring birds
Until the youngest one crosses the creek
And her hooves clack against the flat rocks.
They are playing; one chasing another
They circle and romp; tails bobbing
And duck into scrubby bushes and out again.
As if taunting one another
This is joy.
If they were speaking animals they would be laughing now
Laughing and calling each other’s nicknames.