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Uncle Wilf

He'd long ago shoed his last horse,

A hunter that kicked him to the floor

And, no longer being a young man,

Didn't want such work anymore.

For they were young and fretful,

Not so easy to command,

Not like the gentle cart horse

That would patiently stand

So solid and tall, almost

Reaching up to the roof,

Balancing three legged as he

Shoed each individual hoof.

For years he mended Binders

Hooped wooden cart wheels

Exercised his hard won skIll

Working both hot iron and steel;

But the Combine took over,

Work became a bit more rare

Not really so much need then to

Have a blacksmith always there.

New machinery didn't need mending,

He wouldn't have known where to start,

They just went to the company store 

And replaced the failed part.

So the forge went cold 

As he decided to retire

No more working chats

Around its cheerful fire;

The hooping ring overgrown

The Smithy yard covered in weed

As Docks and Dandelions

Thrived and spread their seed. 

The old wooden doors padlocked 

And with the Yard emptied at last

The role of village blacksmith  

Became just a thing of the past.

The forge still stands, protected, 

Rebuilt and externally restored.

Does it echo of farmers chatter

As the fire crackles and roars.

Do blows from the hammer

Vibrate and ring

Does the worn old anvil 

In response sweetly sing.

Does the shade of Uncle Wilf

At the start of every working day

Saunter across his crowded yard

To get his Forge fired and under way.

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