Veronica Kornberg

Received Wisdom
January 25, 2023 Kornberg Veronica

Received Wisdom


A horse fence
still standing despite
posts cracked and rotting at the core
posts thistled with nail heads
where various rails have fallen


woodgrain weathered
bitten deep into boards
silvery as flowing mane
and bearded with lichen
the colors of lime and cloud, turmeric


a bucolic image— but up close
the whiff of molder
in the bone dust acre


what is a horse fence anyway—
a nod of agreement
an arch of the neck


I knew a horse
who jumped a six-foot fence
for a patch of extra-green grass
then sated
jumped back in again


such amicability—
oh you
confounding horses of the mind
pied and dappled round-
haunched and supple


you ripple the rough sod
whicker salted air
and race the length
of the falling-down fence
yet fail to vault


even where the fence lies
in pieces you wait
at the imaginary edges
one hoof pawing the ground
dust drifting from your back

Veronica Kornberg is a poet from Northern California. Recipient of the Morton Marcus Poetry Prize, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, including RHINO Poetry, Indiana Review, New Ohio Review, Rattle, On the Seawall, Salamander, Menacing Hedge, The Shore, and Spillway. She is a Peer Reviewer for Whale Road Review. Website: