El Jinete Sin Cabeza

Oh, he still rides here in Irving’s bucolic corner

Of the Hudson Valley, chasing some harried jogger

On a poster promoting some 5K race, or perhaps pictured

Astride his horse, tuxedo-clad, severed head winking outrageously

In an advertisement for a charity evening at some grand former estate

With an equally grand view of the river.

He is less conspicuous in that part of the village

Which is, say, west of Broadway and south of Beekman,

Where the neon signs in the bars tout Corona and Dos Equis,

And the argot on the sidewalks and street corners

Is not the Dutch of the Van Brunts and Van Tassels,

But every bit as Greek to their progenitors,

Who own the homes and expansive lawns

Tended to by the denizens of the neighborhood,

Or who work in the Mid-town office towers they scrub and shine.

Not that they come to that part of town anyway, mind you;

They fail to see the rustic charm of a vague fear

Of something or someone hurtling toward them from behind.


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