I didn’t have to be a winner, —

just improved my riding skills,

and did not concern myself

with what others were doing.

I followed a plan, remained composed, —

rode in my saddle so I didn’t get lost

among the horseshoes, avoided all the hoopla,—

savored a mint julep when the sun was shining.

My prized ancestry gave me legs

that could run around the world.

I knew how to pace myself, —

ate my oats slowly, had a carrot

or an apple now and then.

Proud of my breeding,

I bred as often as I could.

My fans bet heavily for me to win,

but I knew the race was not a sprint

or a marathon, but a relay.

You don’t always cross the finish line,

but each generation passes on to the next,

the fruits of their labor.

When the gun fired,

I thought about every step of the race

until I came around the home stretch.

Crossing the finish line made me a winner,

but it’s what I did after I crossed it,

that really counted.

Even though it’s afternoon, it feels like nighttime,

as I ride through the stars, past Jupiter and Mars,

getting a glimpse of infinity.

I watch the survivors parade.