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The Fate of Funny Cide

Negotiations break down daily. Politicians lie.
The road explodes with potholes. Gulls with oily wings can't fly...

Our checkbooks teeter, mocking balance, cell phones crackle out,
And every plan we make is insufficient, pocked with doubt.

And that is why we cross our fingers and, perhaps, our toes,
For Funny Cide to win on Saturday. If by a nose,

That's fine, as is a romp in which he leaves the field behind...
The ride can be a laugher or a boat race or a grind,

As long as Funny Cide comes home before the Belmont pack.
For that would mean a triple crown, a sign that at the track,

At least, we can sustain the grand illusion of success
That leaves behind the shabby, daily remnants of the mess

That things fall into when they fall apart and let us down...
The dust of plans half-realized and hopes bussed out of town.

I have no stake in Funny Cide; I'm not in for a piece.
I probably won't even bet. But i will never cease

To dream of splendid deeds and of great challenges well met,
Of visions of perfection given to us so we get

A sense of what can happen when the center somehow holds,
And all the stars line up and each opponent shrugs and folds...

A vision of the way it might have been, day after day,
If we had not been meant to stumble, slog our goofy way

Toward some far distant, dim-lit end, our baggage strewn behind
For other folks to dig through if they're in that way inclined.

Look, I'm not writing this to hang you up or get you down.
It's just that in the winning of horse racing's Triple Crown,

We'd have an image of perfection, something done just right...
A picture, in that running horse, of winning, and the bright,

Sweet, evanescent moment of that flying horse's win
Could stand for something, couldn't it? For something we could pin

Our hopes to, and our dreams as well, as days slip from our grip...
Imagine Funny Cide in front, an unimpeded trip...

Some follow sports for fun, of course, and some for profit, too,
But at their best they give us more. See, here's what they can do:

They can remind us, if we do not think too much, but feel,
Of how it might be to behold before us the ideal.

This program aired on June 6, 2003. The audio for this program is not available.

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