Blood lines

This piece was written for D’Verse’s challenge this week to demonstrate turns in poetry – where a poem shifts gear or opens a window.

At her birth

she staggered on unfamiliar legs

while her mother licked her clean

and tried not to stand on her in forgetfulness

or fatigue.

Soon she stood alone,

with a coat that waxed in spring

and waned in winter moon.

At the yearling sale she pranced,

nostrils flared,

unminded of her fetlocks

in the racing years.

In time, she ran her maiden,

romance in full stride when,

shifting in the running,

her stablemate grabbed the inside rail.

She took off in pursuit.

(Nothing cuts like an odds-fed whip

a furlong out from home.)

And then, snap!

“History”, her verdict went

and the vets screened the final shot.

Her blood soaked into the track

and into the knacker’s van

and she was gone.

39 thoughts on “Blood lines

  1. Carried me along at a gallop – and the kick at the end reminds us that horse racing is a bastard industry. Here in Australia, as I’m sure you know, the premier event on the racing calendar – the Melbourne cup – one or two horses at least euthanised each year for as long as I can remember – followed by hand wringing and promises to do better by officials and owners. Powerful write – thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All too familiar scenario…I lived in San Diego area, not far from Del Mar race track. One year they lost something like 15-20 horses due to leg injuries. Sad to see.

    Liked by 1 person

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