Behold A Pale Horse

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

As a young boy living on a farm, I always marveled at the sight of my dad riding a horse. The magnificence and beauty of the beast, overpowering and overwhelming to a boy my age, and frightening too, in some unknown way.

BEHOLD, A PALE HORSE

By Al Garcia

As a young boy living on a farm, I always marveled at the sight of my dad riding a horse.  The magnificence and beauty of the beast, overpowering and overwhelming to a boy my age, and frightening too, in some unknown way.  Power and grace.  Gentleness and intensity.  And then there was my dad.  One with the horse.  A ballet of man and beast flowing as one.  Becoming one.  Racing with the wind.  And I was in awe.

We were all boys when we found ourselves in Vietnam.  It was frightening too, for many of us.  It was overpowering and overwhelming for many of us Valley boys not used to being prey or being hunted or being used.  We were simple country kids.  Respectful and obedient.  But most of all, we had dreams to live and a world to change. 

How quickly the world betrayed us and abandoned us.  How quickly we lost the innocence of youth and the simplicity of our upbringing and our nurturing.  We were caged like wild horses in the killing fields of Vietnam, surrounded by the fires of deceit and greed and aversion and diversion.

And in moments of despair, anguish and futility, in lush and enticing fields that bring back visions of the open Valley fields along the Rio Grande, a few Valley boys looked up while reloading their weapons of war, “and behold, a place horse!” flashes in their mind.  For the briefest of moments they are in awe, like I used to be as a young boy, at the sight of the magnificence and beauty of the beast, radiating light that blinds and power that overtakes the human soul.  Frightening yet reassuring and comforting.

And it is in that instant of brief reality that the boy soldiers see the rider of the horse, “and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him.”  And shadows follow as numbness overcomes the wounds not felt and the pain that never comes. 

Revelation 6:7-8 it reads “. . .  And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.”  And I think back to my early days on the farm and seeing my father on his horse.  I was frightened too back then, but not by the rider or the brilliance of the sight that I saw.  I was overcome by the magnificence and beauty of the beast that towered above me, and by its power and grace and its gentleness and intensity.  And I can only imagine my friends when they saw the pale horse on the battlefield.  I can almost feel their awe and wonder as they gazed up on the magnificence and beauty of the brilliance of the light they saw and felt.

And like my dad, they too became one with the horse -- a ballet of man and beast flowing as one, becoming one.  Racing with the wind.  And I am in awe of my friends who never returned to the Valley to see the open fields or the roaming horses running free. 


Submitted: May 22, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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