Poetry competition: Track work
Hooves beat on tarseal, head held high
In the dark early morning quietude
Treads the horse with her minder
With just the odd streetlight for company
And the creeping neighbourhood cats
Staring and darting under fences
Pretending to an unfounded fear.
Today he is short with the horse
And jerks on the rope sporadically
Because he is cold and tired –
But the horse leans in to him
Gradually shoving him into the roadside
Legs like dancing pistons, playful and excited
Yearning to be out, running and free.
The boy looks up into her chestnut-fringed eyes
And sees the friendly, feisty spirit
That gives each day its refreshing mystery.
It’s never the same, this walk to the track
Different moods are gradually buffed
To something more joyful and binding
And two become one in spirit and purpose.
This isn’t the reality of the nine to fivers
That the boy thinks live in blandness, like
A grey carpet that stretches for miles.
It is a magic walk before the town wakes
To a day spoiled by revealing light
And people go about their quotidian tasks.
© Paula McCool (2015)