THE DERBY

a poem by Phillip Joseph Hussey, UK

The orchestra beats out a melodious fanfare
As the parade is led by an ex-champion mare
The crowds inspect their race cards and glance
While the horses with their jockeys gracefully prance
Before halting and cantering down to the start
Their coats glistening, their braids so smart
Even as the buzzing hum of voices breaks
When bookies call and punter's money takes
The booming loud-speaker calls out the names
Of horses, shuffling and shaking their manes
Children laugh and run, giggling in the sun
Oblivious to the adults gambling for fun
Nibbling cream buns, sucking at ice-cream
For some this day is a beautiful dream
Before long the noble beasts are loaded
From the stalls the gates are unfolded
As a flag is raised by the starter
The first one out is Stars And Garter
The distant thunder of hooves in flight
While the stirring roar at the wonderful sight
Then as the rumble comes closer and closer
The cries of urging, the lead is shared by Dover
Now can be seen the turf and ground flying
The blur of horses, whips cracking, people sighing
The commentary is sung like an unending dirge
From the speakers, with the crowds shouting merge
A big fat outsider called Lemon and Lime
Wins the big race in a very fast time
Then silence, the race is over and run
Many have lost, but a few have won
Now only the flags flutter in the wind
Tickets are torn, thrown away or binned
Yet the memory of that glorious horse race run
Will linger in the mind till the day is done
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