AT THE RACES
Sweat scuffs stop watched tendons,
Smears thoroughbred hides; the horses
Somnambulate stallward, slack
The bay mare baulks, shudder-sways.
Dismounted, unhinged, legs buckle and fold,
Eyes roll, then bulge sightless;
Mute nostrils scream.
The tidal crowd spills over the course
… over splayed legs exposing such soft
shrivelled teats… then ebbs. Time to lay
Their next bet.
At the town library, the visiting poet
will read from his latest work –
his slender volume, post-itted pages –
to a reverend clutch of middle aged women.
He breathes slowly in.
A patter of welcoming palms: he bows,
discreet as any waiter, and –
bespectacled, bony – slow turns to post-it one,
breathes in and starts to read. Aloud.
In his echo chambered brain, a
strung out vocal cord stutters and stuffs
– wincing, adjusting his specs – the crucial last line.
Breathe in: hold. An oblivious patter of palms.
Time for coffee and cake.