We were looking at objects the other week and I was still on my DH Lawrence binge! So this owes an obvious debt to Lawrence’s story, The Rocking Horse Winner and something to Duffy”s Demeter too, and my beloved dog Harry. I couldn’t resist the brass horse and I certainly didn’t try!
So here’s a short monologue about love.
I like him better the wrong way round. Nothing brassy about our boy. We called him Percival after the Grail, my purest Knight of all.
It was Jim who rode him that first time. Our Glory days they were. In the winner’s enclosure I wept. Hadn’t cried since my Dad haemorrhaged in Buxton’s Devonshire Hospital. As I cried , I looked up and there was no God, just a big dome. Funny how you know things sometimes. I just walked around and around looking up. Hoping.
No one came though. Nobody ever does.
But Percival knew. I touched his neck after that race and he looked at me. Really stared, one of those once in a life time looks; for keeps you might say.
I liked him better than my wife . No surprise there then.
We kept on winning: me , Percival, Jim. After Chester, there was Aintree, Epsom, the Derby.
”I tell you the air hushed about my boy.” When all that steam came up off him, and we had won yet again, it felt like a miracle. I was truly alive, you see.
My best of times was Percival. I swear even his hooves were winged! And those eyes!
I sang to him in the mornings: Bassey, Sinatra, Dusty. Even Elvis. We were a team. Inseparable.
”You don’t have to say you love me.” But he did. I did, each and every day.
Percival the Invincible they called him- I simply called him my miracle boy.
My worst of times too.
No one else came near.
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