Aintree.


March is coming and I sit beside a white capped Mersey
watching Gerry’s Ferry wallow cross mud-stained waves.
My City framed in sunlight ... glinting
on two giant birds rising from their nest.
My heart thuds as I look forward to the clop, clip, clop
of groom-shiny mares
tossing pedigree heads at impossible jumps
and
jamboree ladies in outrageous hats,
wah, wah, men, terribly rich expats,
exploding with Red Rum passion
into the mighty roar of Aintree.

Aintree
the spirit of the greatest horse race in the world
blowing through every nook and cranny
of our home.
Whispering
you need guts to stay this course
and every Scouser agrees because it
took guts to make our City what it is.
It took guts to jump our fences;
slavery, deprivation, political turmoil, the blitz,
it took guts to shake our City out of the abyss.

Aintree is Liverpool and Liverpool is Aintree
only our Grand National is called,
the European Capital of Culture.

By John Martin