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A Poem by Tate Morgan

In honor of my father Eddie who taught me to get back up.


My favorite horse and I Scarlet Message. He passed into memory a few months ago

The post parade complete at last

the bugle finally played

My heart pounded as it sounded

just get us home safe I prayed

That night was like many others

as I sat behind the stud

 Skies overcast, let loose at last

 each horse seemed to swim in mud



We turned to face the starting gate

I chirped to set him alight

All could tell as we knew too well

this was a hell of a night

Fire stoked in each the beasts nostrils

I could feel each burning breath

I knew too well, the hounds of hell

could take us both to our death



We followed the gate to the stretch

the wings closed to let us fly

I tucked him in, hoping he'd win

 and nothing would go awry

On back my neck breathed the Demon

 front-ender that I most feared

The Devils Spell I knew too well

one the gamblers all revered



Death rode the back of my helmet

his hot breath searing my neck

I’d rather he, be behind me

than in front and cause a wreck

The quarter pole bunched up tightly

the front end had closed ground

Tighter it got, man he was hot

he wanted to run me down



The hooves pitched limestone in our eyes

we closed on the second turn

At my wheels, nipping on my heels

the Demon began to burn

He wanted out that was certain

but the field had closed us in

I couldn’t see, neither could he

how either of us might win



The Demon wasn’t used to this

he had never been held back

He would burn wheels, kick up his heels

as he ran off down the track

I could hear his labored breathing

as his driver choked him down

The last turn steered, then we all cleared

it was time to go to town



The field rolled out of the end turn

as the Red Sea opened wide

My stud snatched his bit, in a fit

we were off for a wild ride

Just in front of the Demon Seed

I felt we'd surely collide

I turned to see, he was on me

as he rolled up alongside



But the fire had gone out in him

he had spit the bit the beast

He'd choked upon humility

or so it had seemed, at least

We had cleared the rest of the pack

stared down the Demon of Sin

To slip and slide on life’s rough ride

and come out the end to win



The Demon never won again

retired of a broken heart

I think all knew, as I did too

he would draw an Amish cart

But that’s just how one grows in life

all made at times to feel small

The best aren't mean, though they are seen

to get up, each time they fall


© 2018 Tate Morgan

Author's Note

Tate Morgan
What forms the character of a man? Pride in oneself and the ability to accept defeat. It is not as important that a man win as it is that he accept his performance and try his best. Of course anyone who lacks humility will be humbled by rocky shores of life. With or without his permission. This a poem to honor my fathers life. For he was one who always got back up when he fell. A fitting testament to the creed he learned from his own father and then passed down to me.

My Review

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Featured Review

Bravo Tate, you've taken that life experience and brought it to life for your readers. The rhythm you chose echoes the hooves of those horses as they thunder along the straight, bringing the race alive, and into the living rooms of everyone who reads this. The only thing this lacks is punctuation, and the lack of this gives halt to the reading in a number of places.
One typo - 'The Demon wasn’t use(d) to this'
Thanks for a great ride...

Posted 6 Years Ago

7 of 7 people found this review constructive.


Amazingly written Tate. I love it.

Posted 5 Years Ago

The image of horse is as great as the song. You are one of the best poets on the site

Posted 5 Years Ago

Words cannonot express how I enjoyed this well written poem! EXCELLENT!!!

Posted 5 Years Ago

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sweet! like an adrenaline rush injected in the rhyming scheme. Great!

Posted 5 Years Ago

i got a lot of things out of this poem, good read

Posted 5 Years Ago

This a one of the best I have read from you Tate! This poem talks about one of the most important lessons of life... It takes mettle and a sound character to achieve glory and it takes an equal amount of humility and deeper understanding about the transience and the vagaries of life to appreciate that however rosy or gloomy life might be, its only temporary... Nothing stays for ever and acceptance of reality with graciousness is the key to happiness in life..
I had to read this poem twice but I am glad I did! Its one of the very best I have read here!!... I know this was a long due...but I made it at last.... thanks for the read Tate! Hope you are doing great! :)

Posted 5 Years Ago

Fighting for your life! You perfectly made an example on how life should be.

I am not sure of the direct story behind this but this piece have many lessons to learn.

As always - wonderful work you here Tate!

Posted 5 Years Ago

This is an amazing ride that you have taken me on here. I know nothing about racing, yet can feel the excitement and what it is like to be in the action. The poem is written with grace, and lively hood. You can feel each moment, I could hardly wait to get to the next line. The last part of the piece is solemn as you talk about never winning again, and retiring of a broken heart. But as you say that is how we grow in life. And learning to accept defeat.
Thank you so much for sharing this humbling piece, it was a ride for sure. Your poetry is always amazing and there is always something to learn and ponder in between.

Posted 5 Years Ago

This read really held my interest the entire way through. It's amazing how I felt like I was watching a suspenseful movie at the edge of my seat. Thank you for sharing this.

Posted 5 Years Ago

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97 Reviews
Shelved in 6 Libraries
Added on August 17, 2012
Last Updated on July 19, 2018
Tags: poetry, romance, love, Life, Sad, adventure, mystery, pain, poem, story, death, fantasy, fiction, heart, racing, winning, losing

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