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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