ramblings and things

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winter 1947 (ii)

horses died that year, two great Shires
up to their shoulders in drifted snow
just yards away from stacked hay
yet yards too far for them to go;
so they stood shoulder to shoulder,
great sad eyes opened wide to stare
as if into distant worlds well beyond
the ken of any villager gathered there.

in sadness, yet in celebration
of a hard winter now broken.
these poor dead horses
a small reminder, a token
of the frailty of life,
of a winter's depth of power,
and soon to come a spring with
 blossoms to burst into flower.

and we half forgot lanes blocked
by snow drifted hedge top high
and every single step taken an ache
to a cold leg and a straining thigh.
or walking between high stacked
white walls along paths dug and made
by aching arms and shoulders
wielding heavy digging spades.

it seemed to last forever in the village
then suddenly was almost gone
and the seasons in their turn
churned inexorably on.
and those poor dead Shire horses,
soon gone to the knackers' yard,
still drift back from childhood memories,
most remembered of a winter deep and hard.

my earliest retained memory
from life filled with joy
seen through the eyes of
a cold and crying boy
and I still  try to write about them
but somehow I can never find
words sufficiently fitting to describe
that scene burned so deep in my mind

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winter 1947 (ii)