Other Forms of Water

When I see a child sitting on a horse, I believe
for a moment they are the same animal.

Like owls sleeping in larch trees.
Like geese resting between cattails.

I believe this more if the child
isn’t wearing a shirt.

Like hummingbirds sipping cardinal flowers.
Like dragonflies drying wings on laurel.

If they cross a river, the child and horse
become even closer, a single wet body.

Like bees trembling spicebush.
Like lacewings climbing moss.

Out of the river, water drips down
the child’s legs and over the horse’s stomach.

River water becomes child’s water.
Child’s water becomes horse’s water.

Water must return to earth.
Like all children and their horses.

Noah Davis grew up in Tipton, Pennsylvania, and writes about the Allegheny Front. Davis’ manuscript Of This River was selected by George Ella Lyon for the 2019 Wheelbarrow Emerging Poet Book Prize from Michigan State University’s Center for Poetry. His poems and prose have appeared in The Sun, Best New Poets, Southern Humanities Review, Orion, North American Review, River Teeth, The Year’s Best Sports Writing, and Chautauqua among others. His poetry and prose have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and awarded a Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellowship at the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference along with the 2018 Jean Ritchie Appalachian Literature Fellowship from Lincoln Memorial University. Davis earned an MFA at Indiana University.


  1. Lovely depiction of love between humans and their beloved horses and nature. All one beautiful cycle of life.

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