Cheltenham memories of an Irish Pilgrimage; a poem

The Sport of Kings

childhood memories of my Grandad,Tommy Higgins, born Dublin 17th March 1918

A grainy picture through the foggy haze.

A noxious mixture of Saturdays….

Spent half-watching through working class eyes

A ten to one winner the rarest surprise.

A child barely 10,- felt like 40 a day.

A gasping atmosphere of yellow and grey…

Stained walls and ceilings a permanent sign.

That there was no care for the human design.

A shout as the grey horse gallops past grey.

On black & white TV, back in the day.

But his grey’s winning, for a fleeting minute

But not at the end…the betting slip, bin it.

Dim memories of a “Pig” riding a horse.

His name was Lester a jockey of course.

The real emotion saved up for the jumps

The roar at Cheltenham gave me goosebumps.

It wasn’t always sedentary though.

An Irish pilgrim sought solace below,

The hills of the Cotswolds, Guinness in hand

A fiver on Jonjo. a winner, that’s grand.

A sheepskin-coated punter

A glint in his eye

A sheepskin-nosed hunter will give his reply.

A bit of fresh air, the greatest of days

On Saturday it’s back to the foggy haze.

Old smoky memories, an amalgam of things

Perhaps we should call it, The sport of Superkings?

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