A Favorite Place
Michael Hislop

Men and women
In crowds
Are streaming in
The Races are on
At The Racetrack.

Voices calling
Loudspeakers yelling
All blending into one
Proclaiming loudly
Here excitement lives.

Today is a stage
For handsome beaus
Wearing suits and ties
Mainly navy blue
And for beautiful fillies
On high stilts
And in colourful dresses.

A day for possibility
Win or Lose
And some will get lucky
Exchanging hard won gold
For a chance.

In Randwick
Grandstand superstructure
Rises from an endless parking lot
Rows of Turnstiles
Attendants punching Tickets
Members passes around the neck.

Inside, on track
Swarm the punters
Sidling upto, choosing
Bookies hefting bags
Offsiders marking prices
Money changes hands.

Siren klaxon sounds
Horse begin parading
Gleaming coats in long legs
Jockeys sit astride in silk
Daredevil Pilots of The Track.

Everywhere surrounding
High, Eye-level, and Low
Jut lit screens
Flashing changing numbers
Odds and Prices
Jingles of Probability.

Broadcasters comment
Whilst tipsters claim
All anxious
You can feel it
Everyone waiting.

Red Light starts blinking
And they are off
Pentacles fast away
Leading Her Majesty’s Pleasure
Now they are at The Halfway.

Shouting, Screaming
It is thrilling
The soaring roaring
In the heat of the race
Moments lose their time
Frozen by hope and faith.

Here they come
Four abreast
Racing to beat a line
Mud and turf flying
Mixing with crowd cheering
Thundering upon the earth.

Sudden silence descends
As impactful as the thunder
Collectively we seem to let it fester
Just for a minute
Then done and gone
Onto the next one
Time for more fun.

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