York in Poetry: Race Course

Posted on 25 November 2012 | Poem, Audio

White rails divide grass and horizon,
cut across kites and balls and playing dogs.
Their lines capture the song of blackcap
and the flames of gorse.

Ice-age moraine spilled a ridge
near these starting gates. Romans
stamped a road past the furlong sign.
Once, cattle roamed here unchecked,

but now suited drunks and giggling
women pour from stands, heels
spiking turf. Echoes give odds
from paddock and hospitality suite,

towards forgotten woods,
whose lime tree avenues
grant shade, and oak and beech
question time

- Pauline Kirk