Because the Horse Expected Nothing

because the horse
expected nothing
he was never spared
      flanders       somme      passchendaele

because the horse
never objected
he never bothered
      flies      mud      snow

because the horse
never wore hair extensions
he never groomed
      the guns      the maps      the strategies

because the horse
never saw a cenotaph
he never knew the soldiers
      inside      his stone      coat

Kerrin P Sharpe’s first book, three days in a wishing well, was published by Victoria University Press in 2012. A group of her poems also appeared in Oxford Poets 13 (Carcanet). A second book, there’s a medical name for this, was published by Victoria University Press in 2014. At present she is completing her third collection, rabbit rabbit, with the assistance of a Creative New Zealand grant.

Sharpe comments: ‘Anyone who goes to war does so with certain expectations. But what does the war horse think will happen? The poem led me into another area as well namely, that even in death the horse remains a powerful symbol of suffering and courage.’

Poem source details >



three days in a wishing well at Victoria University Press
there’s a medical name for this at Victoria University Press
Two poems by Kerrin P Sharpe at  Blackbox Manifold
Oxford Poets 13 at Carcanet Press