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Tuesday, December 02, 2014


by Robert Halleck

November 29, 2014
California Chrome raced at Del Mar

A San Diego day
clear, 70 degrees
perfect track conditions.

By the 8th race I was
down $14 using my
winning jockey technique.

I was thinking safety first
as I walked to the window.

I saw him
leaning on a pillar
cigarette in a lowered 
right hand, racing form in his left.

Bukowski's ghost.

I went toward him.
Looking up he froze me
in my tracks.

"Chrome's a sucker bet
don't be an asshole."

At the window I bet
Sawyer's Hill to show
and lost another $2.

Leaving Del Mar I saw him again
counting his money and smiling.

Robert Halleck is a hospice volunteer and retired banker. His poems have appeared in The San Diego Poetry Annual, The Camel Saloon, The Rainbow Journal.