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The Innocence of Racehorses


Long before the garland of roses,
before the jockey stands up in the stirrups,
sometimes even before the whipping stops,
they get a look about them,
as if they've already forgotten the mile
and a quarter race they've just won.

Already it has begun to mean more to us
than it ever could to them,
and as the owner and trainer and jockey
take turns talking, their peaceable minds
are already turning to hay, which is why,
at the ceremony, they try nibbling the roses.
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