The horse’s name was Remorse.
There were people said, “Gee, what a nag!”
And they were Edgar Allan Poe bugs and so
They called him Remorse.
When he was a gelding
He flashed his heels to other ponies
And threw dust in the noses of other ponies
And won his first race and his second
And another and another and hardly ever
Came under the wire behind the other runners.
And so, Remorse, who is gone, was the hero of a play
By Henry Blossom, who is now gone.
What is there to a monicker? Call me anything.
A nut, a cheese, something that the cat brought in.
Nick me with any old name.
Class me up for a fish, a gorilla, a slant head, an
egg, a ham.
Only … slam me across the ears sometimes … and
hunt for a white star
In my forehead and twist the bang of my forelock
Make a wish for me. Maybe I will light out like a
streak of wind.
Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1878. His many books of poetry include Chicago Poems(1916) and Smoke and Steel (1920). He died in 1967.