(c)2007 Bob Atkinson
it was hard for the young
being followed by death
at the barrel of a gun......
the river stood before them
they saw no way for it to cross
such was their end of life
and the terror it had brought.....
the line of souls ground to a halt
they stood in stoic silence
resigned to the destiny of life
their songs of death were started.....
from the rear there came a warrior
who had been guarding the band’s back
for death on horseback was stalking them
they expected vengeful attacks......
the rider had chosen
a large and dark black beast
something few had skills to do
others would take it from the meek.....
Caballo Negro it was said
could ride faster than the wind
and jump free of lightning striking
an old and shrunken tree.....
the rider too was someone who
could see the soldiers far
beyond the gaze of those around
who looked at her in awe.....
along the trail of withered souls
the horse slowly walked
giving pride to those who wailed
their songs of death to come.....
she was a beauty it was plain
there were no warriors who
would challenge her to a fight
for they would always lose......
those who choose to woo her eyes
and take her for their first wife
would quickly be put in place
by the sharp edge of a knife.....
river wild and river wet
froth boiling like a stew
with hands of water reaching for
the wet and weary few......
she seemed to have no fear
she knew just what to do
the spirits had touched her young
with wisdom few others knew......
leg high into the air
silver chain hanging down
ankle sparkled as it rose to touch
the shoulder of her mount.......
lightning striking all around
horse rising above all
forelegs flailing in the air
twice as tall as those not small.....
the brave animal had been surprised
that she would send it through
the torrent and the swift death there
of water on the move......
with her on its back
with her to guide its way
the stallion saw its chance
to live quickly slip away......
no choice did it have
no way to say “no thanks”
no way to stay on the bank
where breath was easily at hand.......
together as if just one
together they did ride
into the deep and silvery tide
of water on the rise........
those in the lines saw that there
was nothing else to do
but follow bravely as she had done
into the boiling brew.....
she rode against the stream
making progress in hard pressed strides
those that followed her
managed to survive......
although the river quickly flowed
although its power grew
her power was quite strong
the path she took was true.....
she led them through a wider part
not deeper than the small
keeping spirits well in hand
with her loud and ancient song.....
it was not a song of death
but of glory yet to come
when peoples far only she could see
would hear her peoples’ songs........