The Marvel of It Is

Henry Walters

Not two inches tall, a conquistador’s horse,
stepping as high through his terrarium
as any life-size bronze in monument.

Hock-deep in moss, fern-shaded, he restores
the Old-World grandeur he’s imported from.
He’s there for illusion’s sake, is what I meant,

to scale the proportions. Maybe his Spaniard knows
how small the jungle is, how low the dome,
how the air, the heat, the gargantuan sweating plants,

are toys under glass in someone else’s room.
The marvel of it is he’d care to claim
dominion in such a country, dominance,

staked to his bit of earth as if he were
the flag of his own unnature, in miniature.

Henry Walters is a naturalist, teacher, falconer, and writer-in-residence at the Dublin School, in Dublin, New Hampshire. He is the author of Field Guide A Tempo.
Originally published:
November 1, 2017

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