by Tim Chiu
An engaging and suspenseful poem about a sport-filled day at the track.
|An uncommon and exhilarating sporting event,
Blending animals and humans in a test of distance, endurance, and speed.
Horse racing attracting millions of fans,
Both on closed-circuit TV
And live, in the stands.
The crowd gazing in anticipation as the jockeys and
Their assistants steer the horses to their starting gate positions.
Races occurring at 20-minute intervals;
Gamblers thumbing through racebooks,
Some with tips from pros or newspapers,
Placing bets on one, two, three, or even four horses,
In combination by order of finish –
With their betting slips,
Returning to their seats,
Awaiting the dramatic and pulse-pounding
Race and conclusion.
Fans and bettors scrutinizing the odds
For a potentially huge pay day…
Finally, the race begins –
The man on the microphone shouting,
“And they’re off!!”
An early frontrunner, speedily pursued by the field
Of long and lean thoroughbreds.
The jockeys in their multi-colored attire
Pushing their horses ahead with control and alacrity.
Positions constantly changing both at the front of the charge,
And in the middle and back of the race.
Down the stretch, gaps forming between the numbered horses
And fans shouting at the top of their lungs –
A winner ekes out a narrow victory, perhaps,
Or a photo finish, hearts pounding in anticipation
That their horse may have won –
Then the announcement:
Jubilation in the stands and on the racetrack,
As champagne is opened and wreaths of flowers are placed
On the distinguished horse’s head.
Triumph and pay day for the owners of the winning steed,
And disgruntled losers who bet on the wrong animals
Wishing for future success
In the races to come…