Horses for remorses

CLARENCE CADDELL is the author of a collection of verse, The True Gods Attend You, published by Bonfire Books. His poems have appeared recently in The Brazen Head as well as in Quadrant, The Crank and other venues. A translation of Jean Moréas’ Les Stances is underway, as well as another book of original poetry

Why is it that I never win on horses?
The one my brainstem picks I look on past
To pick the one that comes, if not quite last,
Just in the middle, as I knew it would.
It is as if the knowing in me pauses
Before an obstacle it knows it should
Jump over; as if coming in first place
Were something frightening; as if the ways

It trod were drawn upon a map the same
Size as the path itself, obscuring it.
And this is why I foamed about the bit
When it was time to tell the one of you
I chose the other. Then when the words came
I said them to the wrong one, right on cue.