Volume 7, February 2013

Kevin HeatonView Contributor’s Note

Triple Crowned

Ode to Secretariat

I do not rouse for first-turn pacers
or pushcart ponies. I match stallions
with goose bumps to fresh broodmares
in season. They foal snappy, fleet-footed
hoofers like unbridled rhythms—rescore
the classics with classy renditions—hot
walking quicksteppers to lark in circles
through Kentucky bluegrass. I cede
them my will, then wait for time—
to choose the moment.

This colt was a oner with bold bugler
veins, stretched taut as casings stuffed
with summer sausage. His muscles
torqued & wrenched—clenched inside
a coat too small by half. He had a heart
twice the size of a muskmelon, & deep,
jutting jowls that brandished his mane.
Drops of ready-sweat lathered into a froth,
& fell to dust behind the starting gate—
never tardy at the bell—
to lap a trumpet’s blast.

A man o’ war on charger legs, with lungs
like burner bellows, & piston hooves
that fracked the track—
to crack the earth with tremors.

More pegasus than thoroughbred.
More feral god than beast:
Chutzpah on an ego trip—
to claim the golden chalice.