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El Coloso

forty-five years later, who remembers El Coloso?

El Coloso, a son of Cheiron out of the Nirgal mare Rapport
born on a cold January day in 1968
nestled in straw, nuzzling at his mother for a drink of milk
shielded from the clammy Arkansas wind
learning to use his hooves, his wobbly legs
as America braced to shatter

who remembers what Baron Coffey was thinking, the farmhands
if they dreamt of roses, of black-eyed susans, of carnations, of accolades
of laud that would one day rain on Canonero, the second of his name
whose crooked foal legs carried him from Kentucky to North Carolina to Venezuela back to the bright sun of his old home
or if they dreamt of Hot Springs, a hometown hero like Nodouble

or if they somehow knew
that ten days after the greatest feat in his sport’s history
El Coloso would see the flash bulbs too
after a half-length victory in a half-mile dash,
a fifteen hundred dollar claimer
at East Moline Downs

Published inpoems

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