Jennie Floyd
On Illness and Retiring Young
thorough-bred filly, nervous, high-strung -
ill-suited for the race though very fast -
spends her youth becoming a champion
for her owner’s glory - a few moments’ fame,
the harsh glare of the spotlight.
But she grows weary, tired of the race.
The owners push, dazzled by her great speed.
The horse falters, then falls.
What is to be done with a thoroughbred
who can no longer run?
They could shoot her, but the owner cannot
bear to destroy her once-glorious beauty.
We could breed her, but she is barren.
What use is a horse who can neither
race nor reproduce? So the horse is sold -
But to a family who understands beauty
and faded glory, and loves the horse
for the innate nobility of its being.
The mare has earned her right to be loved.
not for what she can do, but for what she is.


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