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Tuesday, April 14, 2020


by Melissa Balmain

File photo from 2019 shows Chosen Vessel racing. Chosen Vessel suffered a fracture of the left front ankle while on the Santa Anita turf course on February 29, 2020 and was euthanized, bringing to eight the number of equine deaths at Santa Anita this year.

In honor of the nearly 1,100 U.S. racehorses that died in 2019, according to a just-released tally.

Prue, Only You and Punky Boo
collapsed and suddenly were through.
Divide and Unidentified
both ran until the day they died.
Savannah Belle? Alive and Well?
More thoroughbreds who trained, raced, fell.
Smart Daddy and Like Really Smart,
Thisonesmylife and All My Heart,
Heroic Street and Secret Street,
Sweet Timing and ShezSugarSweet,
Noise Mandate, Eagle Screams, Get Loud,
Iamthebest and Wicked Proud,
Queen Madeleine, Queen Bode, Queen Jeanne,
Big Ceas, Big Alex, Little Bean,
Miss Marilyn, Divine Miss Grey,
Blaze Star, Lodestar, Lets Light the Way,
Pop’s Irish Rose, Rose Dynasty
all American Currency.  

Melissa Balmain's poetry and prose have appeared in The American Bystander, The Hopkins Review, Lighten Up Online, McSweeney's, The New Yorker, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. She edits Light, a journal of light verse.