Faculty Research & Creative Activity


The Horse Without a Rider

Document Type


Publication Date

September 2011


I happened to be staying in a visual artist’s studio during my July writing residency in Costa Rica. This meant gorgeous, silky light: sky lights, side lights, and a huge front wall that was all glass. Usually poets get the cave-like inner rooms at writing residences, which is honestly just fine. Who cares when you have all this time to write? My studio also perched on the building’s top floor, putting me at eye-level with the motmots, banaquits, and tinamous. (Yes, these are bird names, not the beginning of a Dr. Seuss story.)

With my bird’s eye view, I could look out through the canopy of trees and see a patch of dirt road that led into the village. Usually, there is nothing on this dirt road. One evening, however, a white horse arrived—without a rider, but with a saddle.