Poem: Place Your Bets

Place Your Bets

On a windy day you can hear the glass break in the wind,
modern music, a deadly tinkling
as the wind rips the next shard and the next shard
and tosses them to the concrete a few stories below.
It is not entirely safe, or a least a calculated gamble
to walk through the open windows to the field
where the racetrack once was.
The glass is silent of course, until it hits something,
perhaps even a wanderer like you.
But then, that was the whole purpose,
a generation ago when the races ran every Saturday,
to gamble. To take your chances, large and small,
on animals you do not know. On tips. Hunches.
And so, you walking through the open air front
from abandoned inside to neglected outside,
is in a way a continuation of the purpose of this place.

You manage to walk through uncut.
For that one moment, the glass fell elsewhere.
For that one moment, you are safe
and the tinkling glass falling on concrete
is allowed to be music rather than a weapon.
There is part of you that is as oblivious as a child,
still taking chances without realizing the dangers
of living in the modern world. Not quite grown up
despite the grey hairs and scars. Innocent enough
that you still get wounded now and again,
And somehow, you are always surprised.

About this poem

I am normally pretty logical. Some of the best and some of the worst things that have happened to me happened when I abandoned logic altogether. Place your bets. You never know.

The abandoned racetrack in the picture is in Pownal, VT, about an hour and a half from my home.


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