Forge Cottage, Withernwick (Rewritten)
I loved those old cart horse Shires,
big and solid and calm
Billy Bulson let me ride one once
‘tatie picking on his farm;
And Uncle Wilf would shoe them.
We'd hear the clip clop
Of hooves across the yard
towards his blacksmith's shop.
They'd duck t heads through the door and once inside
Stand there patiently as their halter rope was tied
To one of those special rings set deep in the forge brick.
Uncle would approach them slowly then, part of the trick
To keep them from fretting under the low dark roof.
Firmly grasping a fetlock then to raise a large hoof
Which he would cradle between two bent knees
Held firmly there so he could work at his ease
Cutting, filing and shaping ready for each shoe
So that each was fitted perfectly, firm and true.
I can't forget the smell as the shoe, still hot
Was laid in place to sear its own right spot
Then deftly nailed and then
The process repeated over again
Till each old shoe
Replaced with new.
So many times I stood there as a little boy,
Scenes I recall with so much sheer joy.
That world is gone, those times near dead
Except I store them safely here in my head.
Forge Cottage is now a weekend retreat
And Uncle's yard once clean and neat
Is full of rampant weeds.
The Forge remains, a building preserved.
With its long village history
The very least it, and the past, deserved.
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