March 2, 2011
He sees accomplished rider
cantering her way to the Children’s Hunter Championship.
I feel my grip on the sweat-covered reins slacken
as my horse grows stronger
and stronger,
by pounding stride,
and our chance at being
the Children’s Hunter Champion
slip farther
and farther away.

She says,
“Of course she’s going to win.
That horse is made.”
I beg my horse to bend
as we flow around
the tightest corner
of our career,
knowing that years
of blood,
and pure frustration,
just made that turn.

They feel the wind whip by them
as we canter by in a powerful surge
and whisper
“With the money that horse cost,
it’s no wonder he can jump like that.”
I half-halt,
and squeeze
my $5,000 off-the-track thoroughbred
over the complicated series
of poles and standards,
praying that his clumsy legs
don’t destroy the fence.

The awaiting riders grimace in dismay
knowing another solid ride has been performed
in front of the keen eye
of the judge.
I fling myself
onto my horse’s drenched neck
as he fumbles from the ring.

We all see at different angles.
Looking at the same moving target of life,
he sees it differently than she does
and they see it entirely different
than the truth.

I live by my angle
and you live by yours.
Only sometimes do
our angles mesh to make
an elegant curve
of reason and truth.

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