“On the Eve of the Triple Crown” – a poem

For your enjoyment, from Gary Margolis: “Another new poem that also references the Arthur Healey paintings in the library.”

On the Eve of the Triple Crown

Victory’s standing asleep in his Belmont stall.
The runner-up, a half-door down, lies
in his sawdust bed. In the stands
their owners are smoking Galois,

as Arthur Healey the Irish Sweepstakes
painter did. Wives are toasted in their brimming
hats. God is a length away from being led
from his paddock. Last night

I couldn’t sleep. I saw words running
around a track, a mile and a half.
I was afraid I was seeing things, carnations,
I wouldn’t be able to write down.

Victory’s remembering what I thought
I dreamt, waking with a pen in my hand.
Seeing myself raising a glass in the infield
and not in the stands. Holding a brush

as Arthur Healey, the watercolorist did.
Urging the flash of colors in one
winning stroke. Inhaling a strong cigarette.
The moment you hear They’re off.

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