The Large Blue Horses (1911), oil on canvas, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I step into the painting of the four blue horses. / I am not even surprised I can do this.
One of the horses walks toward me. / His blue noses noses me lightly. I put my arm / over his blue mane, not holding on, just / commingling. / He allows me my pleasure.
Franz Marc died a young man, shrapnel in his brain. / I would rather die than try to explain to the blue horses what war is. / They would either faint in horror, or simply find it impossible to believe. / I do not know how to thank you, Franz Marc.
Maybe our world will grow kinder eventually. / Maybe the desire to make something beautiful / is the piece of God that is inside each of us.
Now all four horses have come closer, are bending their faces toward me / as if they have secrets to tell. / I don’t expect them to speak, and they don’t. / If being so beautiful isn’t enough, what / could they possibly say?
Mary Oliver, Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver (New York, Penguin, 2017), p. 21.