wild flower covered
day lilies praying to face the sun
white horse fences on Derby Day
wearing too much makeup and cloying colognes
pastel bow ties, open toed
espadrille intentions painted perfectly
round pen prancing
& the horses are pedigreed too.
The world of Man O’ War and
my family’s last great horseman
until we got a jockey and horsewoman
in my niece, a true princess.
Etheridge had a voice like thunder
booming across a valley
melodic, bellicose, bass baritone
a cowboy hat the size of god
and a cherry wood pipe to match
stories of blood relations
unfurling in his pipe smoke
prince of our family
your memory I cherish
thoughts of you, on a faraway farm
just this side of a Kentucky heaven.
Bless and keep us through the days to come, uncle,
and thank you, kindly.