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And they are off

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Below is the poem entitled And they are off which was written by poet Mark Norton. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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And they are off

                         And they are off

Only a whiskers breadth parted they
As six spun round the corner over lands mud gray,
And sounds came loud from thundering hoofs
Louder then the heart in my chest;
Then my eyes caught sight of the muscled beast
For an instant then ‘twas gone,
While the announcer called to the screaming crowd
“Whispering Saint leads round the opening bend”

Dismal and cold is the mystery of our land
And bleak the passage of the fall,
But no fault be held when the caller tells
That lost were the horses in this fog,
Now quiet it seemed around the track
No word of mouth, nor sound of tread,
Until came a crackle and the announcers voice
Saying that Whispering Saint was still ahead

No wall to hold our muffled screams 
When six horses broke through the mist,
But with nostrils wide and mouths agape
There pace was as the wind;
Never the like that I had seen 
When clutched tightly to my chest,  
Was a numbered slip on which was writ
Whispering Saint to win and place

Over lands mud gray there path was sure
Round the corner to the final stretch,
But luck be just as destiny held
In a night so dark and cold;
“They are neck to neck,” the announcer called 
“Please retain all the tickets you hold,”
I hoped to god but the devil said
That Whispering Saint had only shown

                            By M. Norton
marklnorton@shaw.ca

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