Welcome to poetry at the desk opinion in a poem and this is my Melbourne Cup special What are you wearing to the Melbourne Cup? Are you wearing a hat? Or are you wearing blood on your hands? I wore a hat when I was twenty-three when I was I was completely naive. My husband held my hand like an accessory We were in the corporate marquee we drank champagne, ate canopies Another time we had a picnic and I won some money betting on the horses Like all the uncles did when I was growing up every weekend But as the day progressed there were more and more people drunk around me staggering home in their stilettos Australia’s public pride the race that stops the nation And it very well should stop the nation these beautiful sturdy, athletic horses it better stop the nation now that we know the truth Australia pumping out 14,000 horses a year to try and find the next Melbourne Cup winner slaughtering at least 4,000 a year when they’re not good enough when they’ve retired after being good enough not only slaughtering them but torturing them shooting bolts into their heads Electrocuting them leaving them to lay there and die and shouting at them in the most degrading ways Killing them in the most inhumane way possible watch the 7:30 report investigation on the ABC and you’ll see with your own eyes Horses being killed and sold off as food to other countries for humans for pets But it’s the Melbourne Cup The fashion parade, the models and their outfits Oaks Day, Darby Day, Cup Day, take your pick What famous singer is singing this year? Do you know? This sport makes breeders and hardworking Australians thousands and thousands of dollars We even get a public holiday so our children learn to play Out with the old in with the new got to keep their production line going to satisfy the great Australian appetite for sport Who cares about ethics? ethics make me feel uncomfortable We just want to have a good day at the Marquee, sipping champagne what are you wearing to the cup this year? A fascinator? a new outfit from Myer? a lovely handbag to go with your side of horse? Of course, you’ll wear the hat and lots of blood on your hands