Twenty-six daily mucked stalls
for a bevy of broken down thoroughbreds
still hoping for the dreams their thin legs rest on.
A water trough, a feed box,
old hoses that crack in winter,
harbinger of flies in summer,
clouds of DDT.
A teen ripped from my city
neighborhood, home, friends, school
by my gambling father.
Isolated now, listening to Hambone,
an older black farmhand,
stroking one of his thirty-nine cats,
stroking my pain.
He urged me not to run away.
Published in Verse Wrights