The Trotters

Hazel Park Raceway—
These were the trotters—
I walked over because my car was
Long gone – and I stole a racing form from
Some guy puking in the crapper—
And I found half a hamburger still in
The wrapper in the stall next door—
Found my lucky seat and went downtown—
But it was not a good night betting my
Funny money—
Twelve races, I was shut out—
But, the last race, the thirteenth race,
There was this horse named Jesus
Help Me – fifty-to-one odds – I thought
What the hell – though the jockey Bobby
Herzog was a little son-of-a-bitch – I knew
Him well – he’d cost me a pretty penny –
Still I pretended I put $100 -- on Jesus Help Me
To win – Jesus ran strong – he was first around
The final turn but then a horse named
Cookie’s Revenge passed him in the final
Stretch by a nose – and the thing was –
I swear that bastard Bobby Herzog was pulling
Jesus in – Bobby was holding Jesus back –
The fix was in they didn’t want Jesus
Or me to win – so using my last connection
I talked my way past the jockeys’ room door
And for the sake of Jesus – and my sake –
I pointed my imaginary pistol at Bobby
Herzog’s head and in my mind I blasted
That cheating jockey dead.

Steven Gulvezan was born in Detroit and has spent his career as a library director and a journalist. His fiction and poetry have appeared in over twenty different literary publications. He is an avid tennis fan, a prolific reader, a member of the Mystery Writers of America and a film aficionado. He resides in Michigan with his wife, Karen and his dog, Yogi.

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