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Lawless Miss

Lawless Miss lives in yellowing pages
decades-old charts from Ascot Park
not where dukes, earls, peers
wear proper hats and tails every June
but in Cuyahoga Falls
the biggest little racetrack in America

Lawless Miss lived as long as Ascot
ran six-and-a-half-furlong races
three and four and five times a day
July 17, 1951
one eighteen and three fifths
eight years old, carrying one thirteen

Lawless Miss set the printed par
atop each chart of a six and a half
furlong race; through 1968
attempts to perfect the breed who ended up
in Cuyahoga Falls couldn’t match
the Queen of the Halfers, Queen of Ohio turf

Lawless Miss, by Gallahadion,
out of the Islam mare Charlotte Dear
her centuries of regal blood flowed on
through daughters Lawless Dear, Miss Woodchuck, Missproof
sons and nephews Islaw and 
Biglaw, assigned to carry on her name

Lawless Miss’s bloodlines flowed
in Virginia and West, South Dakota,
Kentucky, Nebraska, Florida. home
in Ohio where her royal palace had fallen
to kerosene and lapping flames
an exercise for the Northampton fire brigade

Lawless Miss stepped off the track
for the final time at River Downs
in Cincinnati on May 17,
2005 as the final royal blood
of the Queen of Ohio Turf filled her
great great great granddaughter’s veins

Don’t Miss Imie, eleven years old,
trailed in last, twelve lengths adrift
going a furlong shorter, two hundred forty-eight
miles southwest of her foremother’s coronation
she craned back her dark bay head
wondering whether the railbirds knew what was ending

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