“Three-Legged Foal” by Yania Padilla Sierra
Who built this pen I am kept in?
Stark and sterile, no tender grass
For my tender mouth.
No sweet bales to lie on.
Run I would, if walk could I.
I am a three-legged foal.
In the amniotic ocean
A lovely cinder Venus was I,
‘til Father cracked his whip, splitting the mare
And in so doing was I.
Mare a gnashing Fury in her anguish.
I proffered my leg-Mother, maim I.
Now hobbled and lamed
from aery to root
An unclean spirit am I.
Oh Father, pray for
The insatiable monster, I.
For I will not eat grass but men heavier of foot more broken than I
Open the paddock unlock the gate run from the whips that their brute hands would hold
Break necks break spirits
like promises like love
I am cobbled together
by so many sins,
Like so many since.
Lathered and wild-eyed,
Remembered the Way have I.
I am the three-legged foal.
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Yania Padilla Sierra’s Artist Statement: Yania is a Puerto Rican poet, artist, and profligate from Connecticut. She enjoys her bourbon neat and her men bawdy. As a civilian she advocates for suicide prevention and mental health initiatives. She lives in a ramshackle house with her kid, some cats, and a dog.