By Guinotte Wise

Butch's Dream, middling horse who

ran at Hot Springs when she was there

and she bet fifty on his nose to win

impulsive, crazy maybe, but she knew

the boy named Butch in Fayetteville

though now he was at art school and

getting married so she'd heard but so

was she to her high school romance

meant to be it seemed so fifty bucks

would seal the deal and let her know

if Butch's Dream had any substance.

Her heart sank a bit when the gates

clanged open, Butch's Dream was in

a knot of horses in the middle, lost a

step or two, then regained his stride

mid-pack and never advanced from

there, in fact was passed by all the

three; win, place, and show, an also-

ran. His jockey used the crop and

though the horse's heart seemed in

it, stride did not increase to match.

She tore her ticket, tossed it in a

wire basket full of dreams and those

of others blew and eddied around

her feet, mere confetti worth so

much at ticket windows and in the

minds of those who lined up with

main chances and luck and thoughts

of lining up again at pay windows.

Win some, lose some, philosophic

shoulders shrug, they buy a beer

say one last bet, not her. She rejoins

her friends and says nothing of her

secret link, but smiles and thinks

Butch is just an also-ran. He came

close, he ran hard, just not furlong.

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