As they say, timing is everything.
Racing as a sport in my home state of California is in the news lately and the news is not good.
This week’s chapter has not been published yet. It didn’t feel right in light of the current news Any story has to have “bad guys” and they certainly appear in this story and in particular, in this next chapter.
I wanted instead to shed a light on the “good guys” in racing. The people who do love the horses they care for.
So if you will allow me – here’s a poem I wrote instead of the chapter. I promise to publish the chapter next week. It’s a chapter very dear to my heart. In the meantime, there is this:
In the Race Between Glory and Kindness
The wreath of flowers is draped over her sweaty shoulders
The winner’s circle is filled with winners – smiling – jumping – hugging
So much triumph
It feels like love
It is Glory
Is there any kindness in Glory?
Nine other mares prance and limp back to the barn. They are cadre of the defeated.
Each mare walks alone
but for the one poor man, or one grubby girl who leads her
She feels the disappointment that she doesn’t understand.
She hears the crowd roaring for the winner
One fifth of a second, one lean body length behind
One missed step from winning.
One shallow breath from Glory –
A hand reaches up, steadies her gnashing heartbeat
A hand, warm and strong on her neck
The poor man – the grubby girl – with one gesture – offers
There is glory in kindness