He could be headed for the track.

He took off walking so someone said

Down a country lane swinging his arms

As if intent on destination. That last filly

Is set to race, Tammy told him,

Thinking he’d likely not understand

As he doesn’t get much these days,

Most of the time silent, staring over

The pastures. Since Emily died there’s no one

To contact. Tammy stops by or Henry

But it seems like he can manage. Mows the yard,

Heats the casseroles Tammy puts in his freezer.

It’s been three days. The sheriff has been out looking.

An article in the local paper. Someone posts

On Facebook. The trainer took that filly

To Kentucky. He might have got it wrong,

Thought she was at the local oval.

Who knows what he thought. Thinks.


Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review's James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010). One of her poems is a winner of the 2014 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. She is the editor of Illinois Racing News, and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 14 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press, which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize, Properties of Matter (Aldrich Press, Kelsay Books),  Bittersweet (Main Street Rag Press) and The Wingback Chair (FutureCycle Press). Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press.