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"A Cold Night"

Badlands Child, poems by Philip J. Burgess

Heavy with ancient memories of grace
and the ghosts of a thousand riders,
the solitary horse moves slowly down from the canyon
of deep winter shadows
towards a moon trapped in river ice.

Diamonds sift down from a cottonwood
onto quivering yellow-white haunches;
a cold night for crossing frozen water,
a cold night for an old dreaming gypsy horse
to step over the moon.


Philip J. Burgess was raised on an isolated ranch in eastern Montana. He currently lives and works in Missoula, Montana. "A Cold Night" was published in his 2001 collection titled Badlands Child.

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