top of page

M. Cynthia Cheung

Forest Sauvage

             after Agha Shahid Ali’s “Tonight”


The foal lies wet, curled

in a hollow 

of snow. It does not 

try to stand.


             god, limit these punishments


The foal was not born

a horse, though legend says

its mother was. Whose spear 

now shafts through its neck? 


             lord, cried out the idols,

             don’t let us be broken


Pyres flare and lick.

Carelessly, shadows leap 

among the wounded, and the trees

swallow their groans.


             in the heart’s veined temple,

             all statues have been smashed


An old hero-king

once vowed to awaken

and return from death.

His hooves:

soft as feathers. 


             prisons, let open your gates


How does any creature bear

its own weight, or the breaking

of its bones? The sun’s rays

stiffening. Already, they insist 

upon every silence.

Headshot1 - M. Cynthia Cheung.jpg


M. Cynthia Cheung is a physician whose writing can be found in The Baltimore Review, RHINO, Salamander, SWWIM, Tupelo Quarterly and others. Currently, she serves as a judge for Baylor College of Medicine’s annual Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry Awards. Find out more at

Bear Review


bottom of page