The retiree

He goes for his morning walk,

with his ambling, enthusiastic gait;

he knows he’s lucky, and sunshine kisses his hair - 

not yet grey, barely greying. He of fortunate fate,

makes his way over the field, calmly,

unharmed, green grass nipping his heels, and late

summer flowers bow to him. The sheep watch curiously,

then defer to the master of the estate.


The children whoop and shout at him,

their parents pulling them away, telling them not to touch;

he has a hunch, that while they don’t know of his

former glory, they know he’s lucky, and that’ll be enough.

The gentle amber-orange of dawn brings 

a breeze across his skin, and by the mauve ribbons of dusk

he returns to home comforts, where the nightingale sings,

and rest in his warm hovel, the corners edged with cobwebs and dust.


The rumblings on the road behind the hedges 

he has grown used to; though he doesn’t know what they do.

He doesn’t see the panting jockeys, the hollering crowds,

the thundering hooves pounding, manes flying true.

He’s lucky, to be ignorant, of what lies in wait for his kin,

for the fatal sin of silence, a fate few masters would particularly rue.

But they do not walk in his skin, nor scoop his flesh from a tin,

and his tail swishes merrily as he walks down his lonely avenue


◄ I have a letter from you

Is the moon blue? ►


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Tue 15th Mar 2016 19:57

I must say how much I enjoyed this as a tribute to our four legged friends. Such a nice rhythm to the piece and quite touching as the integrity of the horse is maintained although in reduced circumstances.


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M.C. Newberry

Tue 15th Mar 2016 15:56

A neat "lead" towards the final "oh right" realisation in the pay-off.
Imaginative and enjoyable. From my own part-ownership
of a racehorse in the past, they are cared for by their
owners and given a proper paddock retirement if their
temperament is suited to it. I recall my own shared
ownership found a retirement afterlife as a "hack" for an
appreciative owner.

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