Literary Zone

Poetry: Death at the Derby

14 August 2019 at 00:08 | 5933 views

Death at the Derby

By Willie James King, USA.

The horse with the broken ankle
bowed, after dust settled, to all who
stood before it, as it always had
having been bred to obedience.
It lowered its head, as if glad
to see the man bringing the gun,
while it waited to feel
the bullet that would calm it beyond
all those days it was cornered
as a colt and raised to race.
With glazed, half-dollar eyes, it snorted
only once, then it gazed at its owner
who couldn’t seem to set his mind
on anything else, but the money
this dying horse might have made,
had it not tripped
while rounding the track,
its mane windy as an angel’s;
Its fetlocks made for flight.

(c.) Willie James King. This poem
was first published by Pembroke
Magazine; subsequently, anthologized
in Cadence Of Hooves: A Celebration
of Horses, 2008, Yarroway Mountain Press.