"The Jockey of Artemision"
Rob Taylor is the author of three poetry collections, including The News (Gaspereau Press, 2016), which was a finalist for the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Rob is also the editor of What the Poets Are Doing: Canadian Poets in Conversation (Nightwood Editions, 2018) and guest editor of the 2019 edition of The Best Canadian Poetry in English (Biblioasis, 2019). He lives with his family in Port Moody, British Columbia.
“The Jockey of Artemision is a bronze sculpture which resides in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece. Dated to 150 BC, it was lost in a shipwreck off Cape Artemision and only rediscovered in 1926.”
A child still and always, eyes
and mouth, once bone, now bowls
hollowed those millennia below
the waves, no reins to guide the horse
gigantic underneath his thighs.
All he clings to—all he sees
and speaks of now—is time
and what it takes and what,
a while, it leaves behind.
My son, mounted to my chest,
reaches for the Jockey, as he strains
for everything these days. No, I say.
He shrinks back, pauses, tries
again. The docents laugh and coo,
relaxed, though we are all aware
in time he’ll reach, race through and past.
That future boy, beyond our grasp,
relentless, reinless, silent, blind.