A Journal of poetry and kindred prose

Dori Appel’s

poems have appeared in many journals, including The Beloit Poetry Journal, Tea Party, Prairie Schooner, and Yankee, as well as several anthologies. Her collection of poems, Another Rude Awakening, is forthcoming in 2008 from Cherry Grove Collections.

Her plays have been widely produced; Girl Talk and Hot Flashes, both co-authored with Carolyn Myers, are published by Samuel French, Inc. , and several monologues are included in anthologies. Although she lives and writes in Ashland, Oregon, she grew up in Chicago, graduated from the University of Michigan, and lived for many years in Boston.  Visit her website.

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Horses in Dreams

They are brown or gray
with shaggy winter coats. Always
they are going somewhere,
following a road or looming over
cars on city streets. Trudging
in a ragged pack,

their warm breath clouds the air,
surrounding them with vapor
like the haze designed for
flashbacks in a movie
or the science-fiction test tube
that means the end of the world.

They are tired, these horses,
so tired and uncared for,
their heaving sides revealing
the shape of an entire ribcage,
their thick and shoeless hooves
fringed with matted hair.

But where are they going
with such determination?
Trotting now, their backs quiver,
ears flatten at the skittish
evening shadows
taunting them beneath

the streetlight’s glare.
Cautiously, some begin
to whinny, eyes brightening,
necks straining against
the darkness as though
they’re almost there.