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Wild Horses of Alberta



On a business trip to Alberta a few years back I came across a story in the Calgary Herald, a story that made me ache, a story that made me angry. Madder 'n Hell, actually. Someone was shooting wild horses, just for the "fun" of it, leaving them to die slow and agonizing deaths. Even after all these years, as I write this, the emotions I feel are strong. Please, read the stories I've linked, and then move on to "Wild Horses of Alberta."

Few people know me more than just superficially. I rarely but occasionally let folks see what's 'way down inside. "Wild Horses of Alberta" comes from that part of me few people see. If you understand the poem you'll know me a little bit better.

Wild Horses of Alberta

They live out on the prairie of Alberta, west of Sundre,

The remnants of a mighty band that once ruled all the plains,

Foaled by sturdy mustang mares and sired by Spanish stallions,

Fed by the dancing prairie grass and bathed by blowing rains.

They live like those before them, never counting days or centuries.

Their flying, fleeting silhouettes crossing Parker Ridge

Make a rare breathtaking vision and a memory forever.

Between today and yesterday, a brave and noble bridge.

Wild horses, wild horses of Alberta.

They've survived the cougar and escaped the ropes of man.

They belong to no one

But their lives are linked to ours.

Will we let them perish by a cruel and hateful hand?

Each one a thing of beauty and a marvel of creation,

They move with grace and wary eyes, coats shining in the sun.

A single herd is left, now, where once they were a thousand.

Such strong and savage beauty, with no place left to run.

Wild horses, wild horses of Alberta.

Their hot breath turns to snow clouds in the cold Alberta dawn.

They belong to no one

But their lives are linked to mine

And I know a part of me will die the day the last one's gone.

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